Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon is full of giant robots who spend the final hour of the film laying waste to the city of Chicago. More importantly for the bean counters, it’s full of expensive CGI creations and pyrotechnics whose every second on-screen sends the budget soaring.
Some perceptive Michael Bay fans have discovered that the director recycled some footage from his 2005 film The Island to help cut costs on the finale of Transformers 3. You really can’t blame the guy from borrowing from his own work to save some cash. After all, he had a giant building to topple and countless other effects that had to be paid for.
The scenes in question are borrowed from a sequence in The Island in which Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson’s characters are being pursued by security forces in SUVs. McGregor ends up on a truck with giant railcar axles and releases them onto the soon-to-be flattened pursuers.
One of the axles smacks into the middle of a black SUV and pulverizes it. For Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the axle is replaced by a Decepticon who does the damage while trying to run through traffic. Everything other than the Decepticon in the several-second slow motion shot is borrowed.
The second instance of borrowing from The Island for Transformers 3 takes place a couple seconds later where the camera is at road level and shows debris flying. It’s less obvious but a virtually untouched sharing of footage.
Because Transformers: Dark of the Moon was shot partially in 3D and presented entirely in 3D, it’s assumed that footage from The Island was converted to 3D in post production.
Do you think it’s a big deal that Michael Bay recycled footage from his own movie for Transformers: Dark of the Moon? Watch the comparison below and share your thoughts in the comments section. I think it’s fine given the context of the action and obvious need to save cash and use it elsewhere. This isn’t the first instance of footage recycling in Hollywood and it won’t be the last.