According to the filmmakers, 90% of Mark Wahlberg's stunts in the film are done by him.
Michael Bay wasn't originally going to direct a fourth movie but had an experience that changed his mind. After Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), Bay finally got to visit the Transformers ride at Universal Studios. Upon seeing fans waiting three blocks for the attraction, he realized he wasn't ready to give up the franchise just yet.
During filming in Hong Kong, there were hundreds of onlookers watching from nearby buildings and parking garages. After filming a huge explosive scene, Michael Bay used his megaphone to address people watching from on top of a building across the way: "You guys think you're going to wait up there and be in my movie? You're gonna get digitally erased!"
Bumblebee's alternate mode in this film is a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS automobile for some of the film then later a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro concept. Bumblebee also features a new burly design, sporting horns instead of antenna.
Mark Wahlberg asked that his children Ella Rae, Michael Robert, Brendan Joseph and Grace Margaret get roles in the film since they're Transformers fans.
Michael Bay described Hound as "a ballerina with guns." This quote became part of Hound's dialogue.
Optimus Prime's alternate mode in this film is a cab-over truck and later a customized Western Star 4900 SB truck. The cab-over truck is a homage to Optimus Prime's original alternate mode in The Transformers (1984); and the tanker truck pays homage to Prime's G2 mode (where he was a 1995 Western Star 4964EX tanker truck) and Transformers Prime (2010) mode (where he took on the alternate mode of a military truck).
Canonically, Autobots have blue (optics) eyes and Decepticons have red optics. In this movie, Lockdown and Stinger have green optics; and amongst the Dinobots, Scorn and Strafe have blue optics, Grimlock and Slug have red optics, and Slash has green optics.
Michael Bay describes Lockdown as the film's most interesting character: "He travels the galaxy, he works for somebody else. He's here for one person, one alien, and then he's out of here; so he doesn't really want to take sides. The cause and balance of the galaxy is kind of messed up when different species play with different species. And that opens up a whole other gigantic world for Transformers."
Part of the Yeagers' getaway was shot at the Illnois Railway Museum. While there, Michael Bay took the cast and crew on a train ride, and Mark Wahlberg made a donation of $40,000.00 to the Museum. Bay also purchased an old 1930s crane from the Museum, which had "Bay City" embossed on it; he was going to have it restored and put it in his yard at his ranch in Montana.
A gigantic Hong Kong set was constructed in downtown Detroit. The set was so big that the Detroit People Mover track ended up becoming part of the set and shooting had to be adjusted to allow the track to move through the set.
Drift's original alternate mode was a Nissan Silvia S15 sportscar, but this was revised to a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse sportscar and a helicopter (based on the Autobot Springer, a Triple-Changer Transformer who switches between a car and helicopter). He also bears black samurai armor, in a homage to the Transformers: Animated (2007) Autobot Yoketron, another Japanese-cultured Transformer who possessed a similar armor.
T.J. Miller reportedly did not get along well with Michael Bay during the course of filming. Miller compared it to a "very bipolar experience" working with Bay, once telling Miller on set "Nothing that you've said is funny T.J.! Not one thing all day! We hired you to be funny! There's 300 people here! None of them are laughing at you! Say something funny! I can still cut you out of the movie!".
Many of the human protagonist actors have acted in live-action adaptations:
Original designs for Grimlock, the dinobot shaped like a Tyrannosaur, gave him three claws on his forearms. This is because until 1989, intact forearms of the Tyrannosaurus Rex hadn't been found and paleontologists thought Tyrannosaurs had three. The discovery proved that Tyrannosaurs in fact had two claws. Grimlock in this movie is featured with the anatomically-correct two claws.
This is the first Transformers live-action movie where Optimus Prime doesn't provide an opening prologue.
While filming in Hong Kong, Michael Bay was a victim of an extortion incident nicknamed as the Aircongate incident, with he nearly got assaulted by a man wielding an air-conditioner unit. On 17 October 2013, the Mak brothers barreled into the Quarry Bay set, with the younger Mak demanding a $13000 (HK$100,000) payment from Bay having accosted several other crew members. When he refused, the elder Mak, swung the unit at Bay, with him managed to duck and wresting it from the man. Several police officers were injured in the scuffle, with the brothers arrested. Less than a week later in Kowloon, four men extorted a production member who was setting up on the roof of a building demanding payment. One was captured, while three escaped in what was suspected to be members of a triad gang.
The film introduces a less complex, smoother design for the robots, inspired by the designs from the IDW Transformer comics and Transformers Prime (2010). Michael Bay compared the redesign to Batman getting a new suit in each movie.
The first Transformers movie not to receive any Academy Award nominations. Previous installments have all had technical nominations.
The first feature film to be partially shot with the IMAX 3D digital camera. Orignally only select sequences of the film were to be shot using the camera. However once he began using it on the set, Michael Bay enjoyed using the camera so much he not only shot up to 60% of the film in the format, but he had the IMAX corporation build him a second camera.
One of Bumblebee's sound bites is "I'm calmer than you." taken from The Big Lebowski (1998). The quote is spoken by John Goodman's character, Walter Sobchak. That film also starred John Turturro (Agent Simmons in the previous films) and Peter Stormare (Prometheus Black in Transformers: Animated (2007)).
This is the first film that doesn't have a Linkin Park soundtrack, with Imagine Dragons composing a song for the film. Linkin Park would instead compose a song for the tie-in video game Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (2014).
Lockdown's original alt mode in Transformers: Animated (2007) was a customized muscle car, but this was revised to a Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4.
The Decepticon Stinger, who transforms into a 2013 Pagani Huayra automobile, is based on the Transformers: Animated (2007) Decepticon Wasp, who was an evil counterpart to Bumblebee.
Despite a slew of paleontological inaccuracies, this is the first major production to correctly feature the primitive ceratopsian Psittacosaurus with quills on its back and tail. Modern findings show that even more developed forms, like the famous Triceratops, might also have been covered in porcupine-like quills or feathers.
When Joshua Joyce is on the rooftop in Hong Kong, you will notice that he is drinking some Shuhua milk, the same milk that Jerry Wang was drinking in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011).
The KSI building in the movie is actually the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois building in Chicago. It is the headquarters of Health Care Service Corporation. Scenes were shot both on the exterior and interior of the building.
Ratchet appears to have already known Lockdown prior to the movie's events. This could be a reference to the online Cyber Missions episodes, which took place between Transformers (2007) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) and featured Ratchet and Lockdown fighting against each other (itself a homage to Transformers: Animated (2007)).
In Boogie Nights (1997), Mark Wahlberg sang "The Touch", which came from the first "Transformers" cinematic feature The Transformers: The Movie (1986). Wahlberg joked with Michael Bay about singing and rapping for the movie's title track.
Hound's original alternate mode in The Transformers (1984) was a Mitsubishi J59 Military Jeep, but this was revised to an Oshkosh Defense MTV (Medium Tactical Vehicle) truck. His beefy design also pays homage to the Autobot Bulkhead from Transformers: Animated (2007) and Transformers Prime (2010), and his cigar-chewing military ways are a tribute to the Autobot war veteran Kup from The Transformers: The Movie (1986).
Crosshairs' original alternate mode in The Transformers (1984) was a Cybertronian off-road van-buggy kind of vehicle, but this was revised to the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray.
The transformation sound from The Transformers (1984) is heard when Optimus Prime changes alternate modes.
Michael Bay had resisted including the Dinobots in previous installments, as the writers had not come up with a convincing in-story reason for why giant robots, who (according to the first few installments) seek to maintain a low profile by disguising as everyday vehicles and appliances, would take the metallic form of giant reptiles who went extinct eons ago.
According to Mark Weber, the Transformers Manager of Global Brand Development, the two-headed winged Dinobot was originally going to be called Swoop after the Dinobot from The Transformers (1984) that he is based on. However, he was renamed Strafe (after the Autobot Technobot) because his beast mode design was too much a departure from the original Swoop's classic Pteranodon appearance. The "Transformers" IDW comics paid tribute to this change by introducing Strafe as a character who starts out a normal vehicle-mode Transformer but is mutated into a two-headed Dinobot.
The robot bird logo on Yeager's mailbox and the basketball-shooting robot in his shop are from an actual competition robotics team from Austin, Texas. They are FIRST Robotics Team 2468, from the Spring 2012 competition.
Counting the fire-breath from the Dinobots, there are 563 explosions in this film. This barely doubles the amount of explosions from the previous instalment, Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), which had 283.
Originally, Lockdown was to carry the torn-out eyes of his victims as trophies tied to his hip.
Concept artist Vitaly Bulgarov created an evil female Transformer called Widowmaker as a potential helper for Lockdown. She was considered, but finally did not appear in the film, having been replaced by the Stingers.
Originally, three more Dinobots were to appear in the film, but were was cut from the finished script: the apatosaurus Slog, the velociraptor Slash and the stegosaurus Snarl. However, toys of them were still released as part of the film's toyline.
Drift recites a haiku, to Hound's annoyance. The haiku is a homage to Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2001)'s Sky-Byte, a Predacon who enjoyed reciting haikus and other poetry (as the show was Japanese anime, this quirk was carried over into the English dub).
During filming, the filming camp had a sign that stated 'E7'. In the seventh episode of The Transformers (1984), Grimlock, Slag and Sludge were built to help the Autobots.
First live-action Transformers film not to feature Shia LaBeouf or any story line about the Witwicky family.
During filming, Michael Bay utilized the Shotover K1 platform for aerial shots in IMAX and 3D-converted footage, for high-speed action sequences.
Paramount Pictures entered an agreement with teaming with the Chinese film companies China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises, to enable filming in China.
Shia LaBeouf did not appear in the film due to federal problems. When he went to jail, it was during the time that the movie was filming.
Lockdown was originally envisioned with a vehicle mode closely resembling his appearance from the cartoon and comics, a modified muscle-car with a visible engine block and his trademark black, green and gray coloration. This was changed when the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 was chosen as his vehicle mode.
This is the first film to be released on Blu-ray encoded with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.
In one scene, Mark Wahlberg walks past a robot launching basket balls. This robot, used in the 2012 FRC season, belongs to FIRST Robotics team #2468. FIRST Robotics is an annual competition for high schoolers around the world.
Detroit has a monorail system that runs once every seven minutes and goes through this Hong Kong set. So they have had to work around that scheduled train and make sure they don't get any dirt or rocks on the tracks.
Through the miracle of film editing, early in the film Cade Yeager arrives in front of a store bearing the name Kincl, this store and the other buildings on the same side of the street are located on 2nd street in Taylor, Texas. Cade walks across the street to the abandoned Uptown Theater which is located in Chicago, IL.
The characters of the Autobots in this film (the leader , a big green robot, an ex-Decepticon, a snarky hacker and a yellow teenager) are similar to the main cast of the Maximals in Beast Wars: Transformers (1996) (Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Dinobot, Rattrap and Cheetor) who have the same characteristics.
This is only the second time in all the live-action movies that Optimus transforms into a vehicle mode on screen. The first was when he engaged Demolishor in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009).
For all of the films, the filmmakers and screenwriters have visited Hasbro during development of the script to help build the story from the extensive mythology of the Transformers line.
In Cade's home is a poster for SXSW, or South by Southwest, the annual festival of music, film, and technology in Austin, Texas.
Transformers: Age of Extinction sponsor General Motors provided a myriad of shooting locations for the film. Most prominently, the KSI headquarters in the film is in real life the GM Design Center.
The Hong Kong location allowed Bay to develop a vertical Parkour sequence that follows characters down the side of an apartment tenement.
The two evil human organizations Cemetery Wind and KSI are based on the terrorist group MECH from Transformers Prime (2010). KSI represent the science side of MECH and Cemetery Wind represent the military side of MECH.
In the scene where Shane and Bumblebee are in the design centre with Stinger, the KSI executive that approaches and asks Shane what he touched is actually Head of GM Global Design, Ed Welburn. His office, also the office of former GM executive Harley Earl, is used when Attinger meets with the Chief of Staff earlier in the movie.
When Hound kills a Decepticon in Hong Kong scene with his knife, a video game chime goes off.
IDW comic writer Shane McCarthy, who created the character of Drift, dislikes the movie incarnation, accusing him of being a racist stereotype. Fans were quick to point out that McCarthy has also used words to imply he's not fond of Drift's development in later comics (which he wasn't involved with) which most feel made him a significantly better character, and that Drift's entire original persona was little other than highly stereotypical itself.
On average, there is a different camera shot every 2.8 seconds, in comparison to Stalker (1979), which has a different camera shot about every 90 seconds.
The word "transformer" is used by the three major humans in the film: Attinger, Joyce and Yeager.
Michael Bay's department heads have a combined total experience of 850 years in the film industry.
Observe the conversation involving the CIA Director (Charles Parnell). His head covers the final word of a sentence in a poster on the wall behind him; the sentence says "Freedom isn't free". The image comes out as: "Freedom isn't (the CIA Director)."
Mark Wahlberg pulled from his real-life experience as a father in order to further develop his character.
GM design center stood for CIA office and the director's office is in fact the legendary car designer Harley Earl's office. All furniture in the office was designed by Earl himself.
Set decorator Rosemary Brandenburg brought over three full containers from Hong Kong for this set's decorations. They also hired local Chinese traders in Detroit to make the dressings for this set. They traveled to Hong Kong to prep for the film with Michael Bay. They have huge books of photographs everyone took in Hong Kong for reference for these sequences.
The stunt team trained the young stars for four weeks back in Los Angeles before the shoot. The training involved boxing, sprints, cross training and was important because they built a relationship with the stunt guys.
Michael Bay is proud of shooting this film in IMAX 3D and asserts that it's far better than any post-converted movie.
The movie theater at the beginning of the film is the same theater that the most recent season of Castle (2009) take place in. Fringe (2008) has an episode in this theater; the show was produced by "Transformer" writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and starred "Transformers" voice actor Leonard Nimoy.
Kelsey Grammer and T.J. Miller are part of the "X-Men" franchise: Grammar plays Hank McCoy in two films (and had turned down one X-Men film to appear in this one), and Miller is the sidekick of Deadpool (2016). They are the second cast members from the X-Men films to appear in a TF feature; the first was Ty Olsson (Mitchell Laurio), who played Downshift in Transformers: Energon (2004).
On the front of the bike used in Hong Kong during chase scene there is clearly a Kremzeek painted on the front which was a creature from G1 transformers and feature in the Transformers Devastation game as collectables.
Crosshairs gives the pet name Spike to the Dinobot Slash. Spike Witwicky was the Autobots' human ally in The Transformers (1984).
The actor who played chief of staff also appeared in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) as Bruce Wayne's doctor.
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