Shia LaBeouf Claims Transformers 2 Was Shot Without A Script

Before 2007, it seemed improbable that the cartoon-toy franchise "Transformers" could successfully be brought to the big screen in live-action. And yet, Michael Bay proved that the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons belonged in theaters. Starring Shia LaBeouf, "Transformers" impressed audiences, earning a good chunk of change at the box office in the process. A franchise set for success, the follow-ups would have to replicate what worked and provide even more spectacle in the process. However, the much-maligned sequel "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" famously failed to live up to expectations.

Despite having a few great set pieces (that forest battle is a highlight), "Revenge of the Fallen" proved to be a convoluted mess that couldn't recapture the first film's heart. The expanded production quality was wasted on a narrative that lacked any cohesive structure. Moreover, it included some harmful stereotypes that now stick out like a sore thumb. The final result was jarring, to say the least, but the truth behind the production may shed some light on the disappointing venture. 

After the success of the 2007 film, it should come as no surprise that Paramount greenlit a sequel soon after its summer release. The passion that went into creating "Transformers" would have to be traded for a mere obligation. Thus, the execution of "Revenge of the Fallen" was dictated by a predetermined release date. This wasn't unprecedented for blockbusters in general, but this production specifically had a special set of circumstances. Due to the writer's strike, there was no screenplay written before cameras started rolling.

A good script is paramount

During an interview with Kevin McCarthy for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," then-franchise star Shia LaBeouf explained just how precarious the situation was on "Revenge of the Fallen":

"We were given a date, we were given a bunch of money, we were given a bunch of toys, and we had no script. And it was a writer's strike, so you couldn't get one if you wanted one."

The major factor in the critical downfall of "Revenge of the Fallen" was the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. As you may surmise, scripts were very hard to come by during this period, and "Revenge of the Fallen" wasn't the only film affected by the strike. "Quantum of Solace" also went through production without a completed screenplay, another disappointing entry in a beloved franchise that still has its defenders. Making it up on the fly with massive production budgets seems ridiculous, but you'd be surprised just how much movie studios love making money.

"Revenge of the Fallen" may not be that great, but in terms of general entertainment value, it has serviceable elements despite its flaws. I'm not recommending you should watch it, but I'm not not saying that either.