It's been a rough week for big tentpole franchises.
Both "Transformers" and "The Avengers" were recently dissed by actors directly involved in those film series, with J.A.R.V.I.S. voice actor Paul Bettany admitting to Digital Spy that he's never actually seen an "Iron Man" movie ("It's about a transforming being of some kind?") and Hugo Weaving saying that it would be pretty much completely fine with him if he was never asked to play Red Skull again ("It was good to do it and try it out, but to be honest, it's not the sort of film I seek out and really am excited by").
Weaving also spoke with Collider about how his involvement in the "Transformers" series, in which he provided the voice of Decepticon leader Megatron, was pretty much "meaningless."
"It was one of the only things I've ever done where I had no knowledge of it," said Weaving. "I didn't care about it, I didn't think about it. They wanted me to do it. In one way, I regret that bit. I don't regret doing it, but I very rarely do something if it's meaningless. It was meaningless to me, honestly."
This doesn't sit too well with "Transformers" director Michael Bay, who must once again defend his franchise from grumbling cast members (both Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox have expressed their discontent with the series in the past). Bay called out Weaving (though not by name) on his official site in a post that has since been removed (thanks to Vulture for the transcript):
"Do you ever get sick of actors that make $15 million a picture, or even $200,000 for voiceover work that took a brisk one hour and 43 minutes to complete, and then complain about their jobs?
"With all the problems facing our world today, do these grumbling thespians really think people reading the news actually care about trivial complaints that their job wasn’t 'artistic enough' or 'fulfilling enough'? [...] What happened to people who had integrity, who did a job, got paid for their hard work, and just smiled afterward? Be happy you even have a job — let alone a job that pays you more than 98% of the people in America.
"I have a wonderful idea for all those whiners: They can give their 'unhappy job money' to a wonderful Elephant Rescue. It's the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Africa. I will match the funds they donate."
Whoa! Way to go, Michael Bay! This almost forgives the fact that you apparently never met with the man who was voicing your lead villain, according to Weaving:
"I have never met him. I’ve seen his face on Skype. I know nothing about him, really. I just went in and did it."
Anyway, it's always fun when Bay rises up with indignation. Stay tuned to see where this might be going.