Michael Bay Attacked on 'Transformers 4' Set in Hong Kong
UPDATE: The director and several crewmembers escaped injury after they were assaulted by a man wielding an air-conditioning unit as a weapon.
Michael Bay and crewmembers working on Paramount's Transformers 4 were attacked in Hong Kong on Thursday, according to a statement from the production, released by Paramount.
Contrary to news reports, neither Bay nor anyone in the cast or crew was injured, but the production was attacked by a man, allegedly under the influence of some sort of narcotic, who was wielding an air-conditioning unit as a weapon, according to the statement.
The man, who had earlier accosted several crewmembers, rushed onto the set in Quarry Bay and swung the air-conditioning unit at Bay's head. He ducked and wrested the weapon from his attacker. The production company's security team then subdued the assault and the police arrested the assailant and two of his companions.
The production then resumed filming. Today was Transformers' first day of production in Hong Kong after shooting throughout the U.S. since May.
Bay himself also posted about the incident on his eponymous website on Thursday. The director also disputed earlier reports, but confirms that he was attacked by an air-conditioner-wielding man, and reveals that there was a scuffle about money before that.
"Yes, some drugged up guys were being belligerent asses to my crew for hours in the morning of our first shoot day in Hong Kong," Bay writes. "One guy rolled metal carts into some of my actors trying to shake us down for thousands of dollars to not play his loud music or hit us with bricks."
Evidently, this vendor wanted four times what he (and the other vendors near the production) got for the inconvenience of having a movie filming nearby. Bay rejected the extortion attempt, but the man returned, wielding an air-conditioner unit.
"An hour later, he came by my crew as we were shooting, carrying a long air conditioner unit. He walked right up to me and tried to smack my face, but I ducked, threw the air unit on the floor and pushed him away. That’s when the security jumped on him. But it took seven big guys to subdue him," Bay writes. "It was like a Zombie in Brad Pitt’s movie World War Z — he lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them. He actually bit into one of the guards Nike shoe, insane. Thank god it was an Air Max, the bubble popped, but the toe was saved."
Bay claims it took 15 Hong Kong cops in riot gear to deal with the situation and ultimately four men were arrested for assaulting the officers.
The South China Morning Post claims that the attacker was a suspected member of the triads, or Hong Kong mafia.
Earlier, Reuters reported that Bay sustained injuries to his face after two brothers approached the director and demanded money from him. After an argument, the older brother struck Bay in the face. Reuters claimed the brothers were arrested on suspicion of blackmail and assault.
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