Director Michael Bay was involved in a strange fight while filming the fourth Transformers movie in Hong Kong that may or may not have involved injury, extortion, and an air conditioner.
Reuters reported that two brothers demanded around $13,000 from Bay while he was on set Thursday. The elder brother proceeded to attack Bay and three police officers. According to Reuters, Bay sustained injuries to the right side of his face, but didn't get treatment. The BBC noted that a local Hong Kong paper reported the men may have been mad that they "missed out on disturbance fees which the film crew paid to shop and business owners whose businesses were likely to be affected during filming."
So that's strange, but it gets even stranger. Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times revealed that a press representative for the director issued a statement saying that reports were "erroneous" and that Bay "did not get hurt in a fight on set." That said, there was some funny business involving someone using an air conditioner as a weapon against Bay. We'll let her statement speak for itself:
The production company did have a bizarre encounter with a man (allegedly under the influence of a narcotic substance) who was wielding an air conditioning unit as a weapon. The man, who had earlier accosted several other crew members, rushed onto the set in Quarry Bay and swung the air conditioning unit directly at Bay’s head. The director ducked and wrested the air conditioner from his attacker, preventing what could have been a serious accident.
Hence, we're left with the sense that Bay himself took movie hero-like actions to avert a crisis involving one drugged up man. That, or, you know, the other thing.
Update: Bay himself weighed in with his side of the story, explaining that " some drugged up guys were being belligerent asses to my crew" and "one guy rolled metal carts into some of my actors trying to shake us down for thousands of dollars to not play his loud music or hit us with bricks." The rest apparently went down like World War Z.
Every vendor where we shot got paid a fair price for our inconvenience, but he wanted four times that amount. I personally told this man and his friends to forget it we were not going to let him extort us. He didn’t like that answer. So an hour later he came by my crew as we were shooting, carrying a long air conditioner unit. He walked right up to me and tried to smack my face, but I ducked threw the air unit on the floor and pushed him away. That’s when the security jumped on him. But it took seven big guys to subdue him. It was like a Zombie in Brad Pitt’s movie World War Z—he lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them. He actually bit into one of the guards Nike shoe, insane. Thank god it was an Air Max, the bubble popped, but the toe was saved.
Then it took fifteen Hong Kong cops in riot gear to deal with these punks. In all, four guys were arrested for assaulting the officers.