Last week, news came out that Transformers: The Last Knight, Michael Bay’s fifth entry in the franchise, would be featuring Hitler and Nazis as part of its plot. The sequel is currently filming in the United Kingdom, with one of the locations being Winston Churchill’s home Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England. The home was draped in Nazi flags and surrounded by SS stormtroopers and artillery, a visual that understandably upset some veterans groups and landed Bay in some hot controversy.
Bay recently spoke to The BBC about the controversy and defended his use of Nazi imagery in the film:
“I just want to say, people were not fortunate enough to read the script, and they don’t know that Churchill in this movie is a big hero. And Churchill would be smiling about Last Knight. They haven’t seen the movie, they don’t know the ending, and they don’t know how Churchill is a hero in this movie. So, as the staff said, ‘He’d be smiling right now.’”
In defending the film, Bay also revealed that Churchill will indeed be a character in the movie, which is certainly interesting. The director also made assurances that The Last Knight will not disrespect veterans and pointed to his employment of military personnel in his previous films as evidence that he knows what he’s doing:
“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. I would do nothing to disrespect veterans.”
Depicting Hitler and Nazis in film is certainly nothing new, but the issue here seems to be that people (understandably) take issue with those symbols covering the home of a war hero, which is certainly a loaded image. We’d point to Transformers: The Last Knight featuring an alternative history narrative as explanation for why Churchill’s home may be taken over by Nazis, but that kind of goes without saying for a film that features giant transforming alien robots.
You’ll be able to watch Churchill stick it to those Nazis in Transformers: The Last Knight when it hits theaters on June 23, 2017.