The saga surrounding Megan Fox’s departure from Transformers 3 continues with more he said-she said mudslinging to dirty the waters of what really happened.
To recap, a report surfaced on Wednesday that Fox had been ousted from the sequel as part of Paramount and “ultimately” Michael Bay’s decision not to pick up her option. Hours later her publicists released a statement saying “it was her decision not to return.” Clearly one side is spinning this.
TheWrap made the decision even more dizzying yesterday by citing “an individual close to the actress” who told them Fox walked away because Bay was “verbally abusive” toward her and “she had enough.” Meanwhile, a studio rep released a statement saying, “Paramount had the unilateral right to exercise an option for Megan Fox to appear in Transformers 3. Paramount at its sole election allowed the option to lapse.”
Neither come as a surprise since Fox has compared Bay to Hitler and called him a “tyrant” in the press, while Bay said her comments “very ridiculous.” The fact that they didn’t get along isn’t news, only who may have caused her departure. Well, which is it? I’ve said this before, but we’ll probably never know the truth, just anonymous whispers from both sides.
The real question is: does it matter? Is the reason for a Fox-less sequel all that important? Not really. Will her replacement suddenly transform a brainless franchise into a coherent follow-up? Probably not. Does anyone care which hot, young female trades lines with Shia LaBeouf while running from (or to) giant CGI robots? Well, maybe just a little.
Speaking of ego exchange, the story has now become as much about damage control as it is about web journos taunting each other and flaunting their unnamed sources. TheWrap is continuing its long-standing rivalry with Deadline (Sharon Waxman and Nikki Finke are mortal enemies) by calling out Finke’s personal relationship with Paramount chief Brad Grey, more than insinuating their ties compromised an objective report of the Bay-Fox falling out. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Finke fire back, and even throw in a signature “Toldja!”
Meanwhile, every movie website has their own meeting rumors or endless speculation over who will take over for Fox. At this point it’s a scattershot list of names each as sexy as the last. GeekWeek is claiming it’s runway model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Gemma Arterton’s “frontrunner” status has been called into question by Michael Bay’s official webmaster (really? it’s come to this?), but otherwise it’s anyone’s guess. Where’s mine? I personally like Alison Brie, and you can quote me on that. (That doesn’t mean she’s up for it, just that I like her…)
More to the point, Scott Mendelson at The Huffington Post went long-form on the irrational vitriol towards Fox herself, which is the definitive “what’s the big deal?” opinion. I’ll defer to him as I conclude with this: can we move on? It’s Transformers 3 we’re talking about. There are more important things to discuss, like why we need more Alison Brie.