Megan Fox was a big part of the Transformers Franchise when it started: she and Shia LaBeouf were the young couple at the heart of the action, and have been catapulted to fame thanks in no small way to Transformers. While there have been quite a few controversies surrounding Megan Fox's departure from Transformers 3, there are murmurs that she may return for Transformers 5 after expressing an interest in the film. So why won't she be back?
Speaking Out Against Bay
Many people are aware of what Megan Fox said to cause her to be fired by Michael Bay, but why she said it is rarely reported on as much, and neither is the fact that Fox herself maintains that she quit: her representatives said it was "her decision not to return" in the press release. The truth is that filming the Transformers movies was not always an easy job for Fox.
Megan Fox and Michael Bay have a complicated history. Involved in her career from the beginning, Bay has been criticised of objectifying Fox even when she was 15: he cast her as an extra in a party scene of the film Bad Boys 2, where the teenage actress was instructed to wear and bikini and dance sexily. According to Jason Solomons of the Guardian, Megan Fox had to wash Bay's Ferrari in order to audition for her role in Transformers. There are numerous other reports about sexual harassment from Bay on set, though many of them may be rumours and hearsay.
Recently though, Shia LaBeouf came out in support of Fox, talking to the LA Times about her difficult relationship with Michael Bay.
"Megan developed this Spice Girl strength, this woman-empowerment that made her feel awkward about her involvement with Michael, who some people think is a very lascivious filmmaker: Mike films women in a way that appeals to a 16-year-old sexuality. And I think Megan never got comfortable with it. This is a girl who was taken from complete obscurity and placed in a sex-driven role in front of the whole world and told she was the sexiest woman in America. And she had a hard time accepting it."
It's easy to understand why Fox would struggle with suddenly being forced into the limelight, in a role which made the most of her attractiveness.
LaBeouf continued, explaining just why Fox was uncomfortable with what Bay asked her to do...
"When Mike would ask her to do specific things, there was no time for fluffy talk. And the one thing Mike lacks is tact. There’s no time for [LaBeouf assumes a gentle voice] ‘I would like you to just arch your back 70 degrees.'"
Jeez. When put like that, it's easy to see why Fox openly criticised Bay. But since the firing/quitting scandal, the actress and director do seem to have patched things up.
Bright New Future
Bay and Fox do seem to have made up in time for her to star in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: according to Megan Fox, the director helped her get the part.
"He was really instrumental in casting me in Ninja Turtles actually. I owe this movie to him."
Megan Fox has also been optimistic about a potential cameo later in the franchise, or maybe even in Transformers 5...
"If [Bay] ever wanted me to do a cameo like assembling an autobot motorcycle in a bike shop or something like that, I would totally do it."
Unfortunately for Transformers fans, it seems like Fox won't be returning for a large role in the film, though she's open to a quick cameo. For the moment, the actress has a lot on her plate. She's busy filming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, and she's just been cast in the hit sitcom New Girl!
New Girl is a new direction for Megan Fox, as she's never appeared in a sitcom before. Fox will be replacing Zooey Deschanel while the actress/producer is on maternity leave, and her character Raegan will be renting Jess' room for several episodes.
Though Megan Fox is not known for her comedy, showrunner Liz Merriweather has confidence in the actress. Raegan is the polar opposite to Jess: while Jess is whimsical and madcap, Raegan is more deadpan and serious. This will definitely shake up the dynamic of the show, but bringing in a completely different type of character is better than creating a Jess clone to replace her while Deschanel is on leave. Merriweather has also praised Fox's talents, assuring fans that the actress is the perfect fit for New Girl.
"It's insane to me that such a gorgeous person can be so funny, but I guess we just all have to accept it. I've been a fan of her comedic skills since This is 40, and I'm so excited to have her on the show."
This could be an excellent career move for Megan Fox, doing something different and showcasing more of her no doubt varied acting talents. But her role in New Girl along with her tricky history with Bay and otherwise busy schedule does mean it's highly unlikely she'll appear in Transformers 5, even as a cameo.
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