Filming for the fifth and final Transformers hasn't even wrapped, and it's already upset most of Great Britain.
Good going, Michael Bay.
The Sun recently published photos from a location shoot at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of beloved former Prime Minister and WWII hero Winston Churchill. For unknown reasons, the palace had been covered in Nazi iconography, including swathes of swastikas and extras in Third Reich uniforms.
Transformers: The Last Knight will reportedly briefly time travel, perhaps to a parallel past where Nazi Germany defeated the Allies.
It's all for an overstuffed Hollywood spectacle, but the images are raising some hackles amongst the Brits. Ex-British Army commander Colonel Richard Kemp told The Sun that Winston Churchill would be "turning in his grave" and that "it’s symbolically disrespectful to Churchill."
The furor was only exacerbated by The Sun's cover, which bawled the film was "goose-stepping on Churchill's grave!"
And it's worth pointing out: If a British film crew pulled this stunt in the United States, heads would roll.
Michael Bay took some time from manufacturing explosions and Autobot clashes to defend the film to the BBC, although he tight-lipped as to why the property had been converted into a Nazi headquarters.
I just want to say, people were not fortunate enough to read the script, and they don’t know that Churchill in this movie is a big hero. And Churchill would be smiling about Last Knight. They haven’t seen the movie, they don’t know the ending, and they don’t know how Churchill is a hero in this movie. So, as the staff said, ‘He’d be smiling right now.’
For what it's worth, Churchill's own grandson, Nicholas Soames, rushed to Michael Bay's defense, claiming it's all much ado about nothing.
“It’s preposterous," Soames told The Guardian. "Why can’t they make a film at Blenheim 75 years after [the war ended]? It’s absurd. That’s all I have to say; it’s pathetic."