Director and producer Michael Bay has a unique signature style to his movies. The director made his way to the top of the ladder of commercial success. With his distinct style, he became a successful name in the industry.
Bay is notable for the use of several techniques in almost every movie he has made. The budgets of his movies are generally high, loaded with explosions, extensive use of special effects, stylistic cinematography and visuals, and of course, most significant of all, fast cutting. But before making his debut, quite a few studios rushed to him to hire the director for their action projects.
Michael Bay Once Rejected Steven Spielberg’s Movie
It is close to impossible to imagine someone else in the director’s chair instead of Steven Spielberg in the production of Saving Private Ryan. The $482.3 million war rescue movie was, however, initially planned for none other than Michael Bay. In an interview with Collider, the Transformers director revealed turning down Saving Private Ryan and another Ridley Scott’s war movie, Black Hawk Down.
“There are a couple movies where … I was given ‘Saving Private Ryan’ before Steven. Steven, when I saw it … That’s the greatest first scene of any movie I’ve ever seen. I would’ve never done a better job. Steven was perfect for that. I was given ‘Black Hawk Down.’ I’m like, this is way too violent, there’s no way anyone’s going to go to this movie. I am so glad Ridley Scott did that movie. So I’m glad they didn’t pick me, thank God, and I didn’t say yes,” Bay told Collider.
Also, Bay was initially offered another movie about soldiers, the Kirsten Dunst-starrer Small Soldiers. The 1998 fantasy movie was eventually directed by Joe Dante. Bay recalled,
“I think my first movie I was ever given — and when I went to meet Steven when I was a kid, at the desk, the ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ story — he gave me ‘Small Soldiers.’ I said no to that.”
And turning down his mentor’s production company Amblin Film, now feels weird to him.
Eyes on Speed, Vengeance in Mind
The loss of a project can have an adverse effect on movie directors and actors alike. Of course, Bay is one of the highly recognized directors working in Hollywood now, but he once lost a Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock movie that took a toll on him. Undoubtedly, Bay is more inclined towards action-packed projects and was very interested in directing the 1994 action thriller Speed, which would be the perfect debut he anticipated.
“The first movie I was going for with a vengeance was ‘Speed.’ I lost that movie. Okay? Jan de Bont did a great job.”
Jan de Bont’s Speed was indeed a thrill ride and Bay praised the movie later, but it took quite a while for him to get over the idea of losing the film. But in 1995, Bay had a spectacular debut with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-starrer film Bad Boys. The action comedy was a hit and most importantly, it gave him enough recognition for his later blockbusters like the Transformers franchise.