Now that the writers’ strike has ended, Transformers 2 cowriter Roberto Orci sets the record straight. Michael Bay told Rotten Tomatoes that he continued writing during the strike, but, as it turns out, that isn’t the whole truth.
“He just turned out treatment and transferred it to screenplay format. He picked a few characters from Hasbro and wrote what kind of things he needed in production, but he didn’t write a script. We were involved up until the strike, and then shortly thereafter. Of course, it’s a continuation of the first movie. It’s the characters that we selected from the first movie, in addition to some of the ones we wanted to see that we couldn’t put in the first one, and some of them were even in our original drafts.”
Set two years later, the sequel has no need to introduce the Transformers. “Yeah, the first movie was very much structured as a mystery, such that the Transformers are revealed at sort of the midpoint. This time, this is a different structure, it’s a different movie, it’s a different story. The Transformers are there from minute one, and that’s something that now we actually felt confident we could get away with, because we saw that it could work and that you could have these sentient robots and you’re happy when they’re onscreen.”
Still, there will be opportunities for intimate comedy scenes, like the backyard sequence from the original. “It’s still a continuation of these characters. Tonally, it’s similar, if you liked the first one, you’re still going to get that intimate story of who Sam is and what he’s doing, but if you’re a sci-fi fan, because we can start the movie much more Transformer-centric, it’s a more balanced story with higher stakes — as many sequels tend to be.”