The medieval era when King Arthur once ruled the land won't be the only time period outside of the present day that Transformers: The Last Knight will visit. Earlier today, we learned that some of the movie's shooting in the United Kingdom right now includes scenes involving Nazis during World War II. With that revelation also came controversy, as a building the crew covered with Nazi flags happened to be where prime minister Winston Churchill was born. This drew outrage from some, including UK veterans, but director Michael Bay wants to assure us that we don't know the full story of what's happening, which is why it isn't as big a deal as it looks.
Speaking with BBC News, Bay stated that he wouldn't do anything to disrespect veterans, and revealed that Winston Churchill will actually be a major protagonist in Transformers: The Last Knight. He explained:
People have not been fortunate enough to read the script and they don't know that Churchill in this movie is a big hero. Churchill would be smiling. When you see the movie you'll understand.
On Wednesday night, Michael Bay and the Transformers: The Last Knight crew made up an area of Oxford to look like Nazi-occupied territory, from putting those flags on Winston Churchill's birthplace, Blenheim Palace, to having extras dressed like SS stormtroopers to even rolling in a Panzer tank. Admittedly, Bay could have spent more time picking a better building to use as Nazi headquarters then the former home of the man who led Great Britain during most of World War II. It's doubtful his comments will ease the concern and anger of some, but strictly from a story-telling perspective, it is curious that Winston Churchill will participate in the fifth Transformers installment. As for the project's principal photography, the crew is headed to Radcliffe Square in Oxford next for shooting until next Sunday.
While not confirmed yet, supposedly part of Transformers: The Last Knight's plot will involve Nazis successfully invading Great Britain. If true, that would suggest that these scenes are not mere flashbacks since history obviously didn't play out like that. Is time travel responsible, or will this be some kind of vision of how events could have happened last century? Whatever the answer is, it may also help explain how Arthurian legend is being thrown into the mix. As for Winston Churchill's role, if the Nazis have taken control of his country, perhaps he either died fighting or continues to strike back against the oppressors, hence Michael Bay describing him as a "big hero." How does this involve the giant robots who turn into vehicles? I have no idea!
We'll find out what's in store for this fictional Winston Churchill when the Autobots and Decepticons clash again during Transformers: The Last Knight, arriving in theaters on June 23, 2017.