Rich Moskal, director of the Chicago Film Office, says it was the film’s director, Michael Bay, who backed out of the stunt. “As far as I know, it was all set to go,” said Moskal Tuesday evening after giving a presentation at DePaul School of Digital Cinema.The Millennium Park scene was probably cut because that was around the time production shut down for about a week due to the extra being injured in Indiana. It is also possible that the deck scene was repurposed for another location as the description seems to match some of what was filmed at another parking deck location a week later.
“Michael Bay is always trying to do more and more,” he said, “but it was one of those things where they said, ‘do we really need to do this?’” Bay apparently had to get to a location in Detroit, a mansion that was a popular tourist destination and offered a limited opportunity for him to film there. “He had a shopping list and they were running out of time and they were way over budget to be honest with you.”
Bay, says Moskal, remembered Marina City from The Hunter. “The funny thing was, he said, ‘they did one car, I want to do four. And I want them to be on fire. I want there to be four burning cars.’ And it just kind of came down to, how much time do we have and how much more do we really need? And they did some pretty hairy stuff. It’s not like they were starved for yet another spectacle of explosions or flying cars or stuff like that.”
Other scenes for the movie, expected to be released next July, were planned but never filmed. “Their final scene was supposed to be in the reflection of the Cloud Gate sculpture at Millennium Park where they wanted to see the city [on fire] and smoldering.”
The idea of Transformers 3 scenes being cut or altered is not big deal as that is common for any movie. What would be surprising is if the movie is over budget as Michael Bay takes a great deal of pride in getting his movies completed on time and under budget. If Dark of the Moon is currently over budget, will steps be taken to get it back under control by possibly making cuts on post-production decisions with cuts for possible visual effects heavy scenes? Since every second of Transformers robot action is literally 10s of thousands of dollars being spent, there are many different cuts, both big and small, that could be done to get the film budget back on track. Thanks to rumah and Ray for the link.
Update: Michael Bay once again did one of his quick drive-by's on his forum and explained the situation:
Why did I cut the stunt, because the building wanted a $40,000 location fee. I told my producer we are not paying that - Why? Because I like to stay on budget, and I also don't like to get ripped off. So there's the truth. And yes, we are are still under budget today.