The production of Transformers: The Last Knight is in hot water with veterans groups after dressing Winston Churchill’s birthplace with Nazi iconography.
The Sun published photos of Blenheim Palace, where the former British Prime Minister was born in 1874, decorated with Swastikas for shooting. According to the publication, actors dressed in SS uniforms marched up to the palace with Nazi artillery on Wednesday evening while shooting the Michael Bay-directed film. Churchill is buried less than a mile away at St. Martin’s Church, Bladon.
“I know its a film, but it’s symbolically disrespectful to Churchill. He will be turning in his grave,” Colonel Richard Kemp, the ex-commander of British forces in Afghanistan, told The Sun.
Distributor Paramount did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Bay addressed the controversy on Friday while speaking to the BBC.
“People have not been fortunate enough to read the script and they don’t know that Churchill in this movie is a big hero,” Bay said. “He would be smiling.”
Bay added: “When you see the movie you’ll understand. I for one, probably more than any director in the world, have shot more veterans and more active military men and women in my movies. You can actually look it up. I would do nothing to disrespect veterans.”
Transformers: The Last Knight is the latest in a string of films to shoot at Blenheim Palace, which was built in the early 1700s and is among the most iconic houses in England. Recent productions shooting there include Spectre and Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.
Transformers: The Last Knight will be released June 23, 2017.
Sept. 23, 3:50 p.m. Updated with Bay’s response.