Steven Spielberg Told Michael Bay To Stop Making Transformers Movies

Sometimes, it's hard to know when you've had enough. If you're Michael Bay, you might have Steven Spielberg telling you as much. The "Transformers" filmmaker opened up about advice from Spielberg (who was also an executive producer on the franchise) to cut his time short with the robotic sequels — but clearly, he didn't take the recommendation.

Bay told Unilad UK in an interview published on March 25:

"I made too many of them. Steven Spielberg said, 'Just stop at three'. And I said I'd stop. The studio begged me to do a fourth, and then that made a billion too. And then I said I'm gonna stop here. And they begged me again. I should have stopped. [But] they were fun to do."

Bay directed all five of the original installments in the franchise: the original 2007 "Transformers," 2009's "Revenge of the Fallen," 2011's "Dark Side of the Moon," 2014's "Age of Extinction," and 2017's "The Last Knight." After those five movies, Bay stepped back into a producer role for the two spin-off movies, 2018's "Bumblebee" and the upcoming "Rise of the Beasts," set to be released in 2023.

While the "Transformers" franchise is known for being pretty mediocre in terms of substance, the films make up for it in grandiose CGI action sequences that, in 2007, were pretty impressive. However, the 2018 spin-off "Bumblebee" did garner some positive response, hence the addition of "Rise of the Beasts" to the franchise, which is set to be a direct sequel to "Bumblebee."

Reflecting on 'scary' territory with Transformers

Bay also noted in the interview that the original film was "scary" to release because of the technical elements — and the filmmaking team really didn't know how it would be received:

"The first one was scary. It was technology we didn't know would work, and then it became very successful ... It was the first time digital effects were that highly reflective, so it broke a lot of new ground. It was a fun experience. It made more than [$709 million], that's a lot of movie tickets and a lot of people that have seen it."

It wasn't just the technical aspects that made the "Transformers" films a challenge. Bay also noted that Spielberg's advice also included suggested casting changes. Original "Transformers" star Megan Fox clashed with Bay on set and in 2011, it was reported that Spielberg told Bay to fire her. However, Spielberg later denied the claims. She was replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the third installment, "Dark Side of the Moon." He told GQ at the time:

"I wasn't hurt, because I know that's just Megan. Megan loves to get a response. And she does it in the wrong way. I'm sorry Megan, I'm sorry I made you work 12 hours. I'm sorry that I'm making you show up on time. Movies are not all warm and fuzzy."

"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" is set to open on June 9, 2023.