'Transformers' director attacked in Hong Kong
HONG KONG, China - Hollywood director Michael Bay was attacked by a man wielding an air-conditioning unit while shooting the latest "Transformers" film in Hong Kong, he said.
Police arrested two men in the early hours of Thursday, October 17, after the attack on the "Armageddon" director, who was on the first day of location shooting in Hong Kong filming "Transformers: Age of Extinction."
Bay recounted details of the incident on his website, while warning that "the story... being passed around is not all true!"
A spokesman denied reports that the 48-year-old was injured in the assault.
Police handed the case to specialist anti-triad units reserved for tackling Hong Kong's notorious criminal gangs.
The men confronted Bay and his film crew in the city's Quarry Bay district, claiming they were owed HK$100,000 ($12,900) compensation for filming in the area.
"When the movie crew was filming, one of the arrested persons was seeking HK$100,000 [from Bay], leading to a scuffle. Another arrested person suddenly attacked him," police said in a statement.
"The right side of his face was injured, but he refused to go to the hospital."
Bay said in the statement on his website: "Some drugged-up guys were being belligerent asses to my crew for hours....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.
"Every vendor where we shot got paid a fair price for our inconvenience, but he wanted four times that amount. I personally told this man and his friends to forget it we were not going to let him extort us.
"He didn't like that answer. So 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. It was like a Zombie in Brad Pitt's movie 'World War Z' - he lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them."
The film's studio Paramount said in a statement: "Contrary to several erroneous news reports... Bay did not get hurt in a fight on set."
Calling the attack a "bizarre encounter with a man...wielding an air conditioning unit as a weapon," it added that Bay's quick action prevented "what could have been a serious accident."
The 4th instalment of the "Transformers" franchise starring Mark Wahlberg and Nicola Peltz is scheduled to hit theaters in June.
Hong Kong's striking Victoria Harbour is believed to be among the film's locations, along with the city's dense and bustling streets. - Rappler.com