Michael Bay

  • 09 June 2004

Date of birth

17th February, 1965







Michael Benjamin Bay (born 17.2.1965) Michael Bay is an American Director and Producer known for his aggressive, controversial visual style, specialising in high-budget action sequences, containing fast edits, stylistic visuals and practical special effects. Michael Bay's notable films including, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and the Transformers trilogy have grossed over 3 billion-dollars worldwide. Despite achieving internationally box-office success, Michael Bay has received criticism from both critics and the general public.

Childhood: Michael Bay was born in Los Angeles, California and was raised by adoptive parents, Harriet, a bookstore owner/child psychiatrist and his adoptive father, Jim, a Certified Public Accountant. Bay attended exclusive, Crossroads school in Santa Monica, California and states he can trace his interest of film back to childhood, when he would record attaching fire crackers to his toys and allowing them to explode. He was later grounded however his filming style was permanent.

Directing Career: Bay began in the film industry interning with Academy Award nominated Director and Producer George Lucas, known for his predominant work on the Star Wars film series. Bay was filing the storyboards for four times Oscar winner, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Bay stated he thought the film was going to be terrible; however his opinion changed upon viewing the film. Bay referred to watching the film as the moment he wanted to become a film director.

Bay graduated from studying English and Film in 1986 from Wesleyan University where he went on to working at Propaganda Films, a successful film and music video production company. In 1992 Bay won a Clio Award for his first national commercial, advertising for Red Cross. Bay continued to direct advertisements and music videos for the likes of Meatloaf before being acknowledged by producers Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean, CSI) and Don Simpson (The Rock, Top Gun). The producers approached Bay into directing his first-feature length film; Bad Boys starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence which went onto achieve a notable $141 million at the box office in the summer of 1995.

Bay sustained his working relationship with Bruckheimer and Simpson in The Rock (released in 1996). The film starred Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage and achieved an Academy Award nomination for best sound. Don Simpson died five months before the film was released. Bay continued to work with Bruckheimer in the huge $140,000,000 box office hit, Armageddon (written by J.J Abrams and Jonathan Hensleigh). The films included an all-star cast of: Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thronton, Liv Tyler and Owen Wilson and was nominated for four Oscars, praised for its visual and sound effects. The film received a mixed response from critics with Peter Travers from the Rolling Stones stating 'How do I hate Armageddon? Let me count the ways' Despite the critical response to Armageddon, Bay went on to work with Bruckheimer and Affleck in Pearl Harbor, a high budget love triangle war drama set around the Pearl Habor attracks. Despite winning one Oscar and being nominated for another three the film was criticised for not amplifying the emotion considered with war and it's inaccuracy to historic events.

After receiving negative reviews due to his insensitivity to historic, factual events, Bay returned to his directing roots and collaborated with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence once again in Bad Boys Two. The film was produced by Bruckheimer and like the working partners previous films it received negative critical reviews. Rolling Stones stating: 'Everything loud, dumb, violent, sexist, racist, misogynistic and homophobic that producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay can think of puking up onscreen'. Despite the negative critical response the film achieved notable recognition at the world wide Box Office.

In 2005 Bay Produced (without Bruckheimer) and Directed the Island - an action, sci-fi adventure where a 'harvestable being'/clone played by Ewan McGregor must escape the Utopian facility where he is being kept with help from co-star, Scarlett Johansson. The film also starred previous working relation, Sean Bean. The film received mixed responses from critics and the public whilst New York Post stated: 'Bay's best film since "The Rock."'. Bay himself criticised the marketing suggesting it gave a different and wrong impression to what the film intended.

Bay continued to produce smaller budget horror and thriller films, including a Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot and prequel before teaming up with critical acclaimed and notable director/producer Steven Spielberg in Transformers, a live action film based on the Hasbro franchise. The film starred up and coming actor, Shia LaBeouf and actress/model Megan Fox. The film grossed a notable $27.8 million on its first general released date and obtained the record for the 'largest opening [week] for a non-sequel' with an impressive - $155.4 million. The film has made over $700 million worldwide and received an impressive response from critics compared to Bay's previous films, achieving three Oscar nominations and Entertainment Weekly stating: Bay, at heart, isn't a fantasist; he's a literal-minded maestro of demolition.

Between the release of Transformers and its sequel, Bay produced another series of horror films including the 2009 Friday the 13th and psychological horror film - The Unborn. Bay returned as Director/Executive Producer for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, working with previous stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. The film had a notable $200 million budget due to the success of the previous release and went on to achieve over $832 million worldwide, despite the majority of negative reviews from widely acknowledged Roger Ebert, Michael Phillips and David Denby. Bay continued to produce re-boots of classic horror films before producing I am Number Four- a sci-fi action starring Alex Pettyfer and directed by D.J Caruso who worked with Transformers Star, LaBeouf in 2007's Disturbia.

Bay continued to direct and produce his box office hit franchise with the third in the series, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The film starred Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, a model cast in her first professional feature film in aim to replace Megan Fox who had conflicts with Bay. The film, again, received a mixed response from critics however achieved notable success at the box office. Bay is currently working on an untitled Transformers sequel due to not star previous actor Shia LaBeouf as well as being rumoured to be working on Bad Boys 3.

Personal Life: Bay lives in Los Angeles and Miami with his two Bullmastiffs, Bonecrusher and Grace named for characters in his previous films. His dogs often appear in his films with previous pet, Mason playing Miles' dog in Transformers before his death in 2007.

10 Worst Films Of 2017

By Rich Cline in Movies / TV / Theatre on 02 January 2018

Michael Bay Dax Shepard David Ayer

Also known as, the biggest wastes of our time in 2017.

When it comes to the biggest flops of the year, most of these movies feature actors, actresses and filmmakers really should have known better. None of them are easy to watch, and unfortunately the list does not end here. Some were huge disappointments, while others went predictably downhill.

Image caption Mark Wahlberg in 'Transformers'

1. Transformers: The Last Knight - Even by the low standards of this franchise, this film is an incoherent mess, as Michael Bay flings $200 million at the screen but ignores plot and character. It's a two-and-a-half hour assault on the eyes and ears.

Continue reading: 10 Worst Films Of 2017

Mark Wahlberg Would Clearly Do Anything For Michael Bay

By Rich Cline in Movies / TV / Theatre on 25 June 2017

Mark Wahlberg Michael Bay

While some critics wish the series would come to an end, the Transformers franchise is only just getting started.

The fifth film in the series, The Last Knight, is launching an expanded universe that will include sequels, prequels and spin-offs. There are at least 10 films in various planning stages at the moment. It was Michael Bay who brought Mark Wahlberg into this universe. "The reason why I made the first film [2014's Age of Extinction] and now this one," Wahlberg says, "was the opportunity to work with the director and creator of this whole world, Michael Bay. He and I made another movie called Pain & Gain, and I just love working with him. It's the escapism, the cool factor, the wow factor. And Michael's constantly making it bigger and better and trying to give the audience more."

Image caption Marc Wahlberg at the premiere of Transformers: The Last Knight

He also observes that Bay runs the set like a well-oiled machine. "Michael has the whole movie in his head," Wahlberg says. "So sometimes he'll be doing things that will seem to not make sense, but then you see the movie and you'll understand why. We'll be in the middle of a scene and all of a sudden he'll be like, 'This is not working.' And you don't know if he's talking about necessarily the dialogue, your performance or the clouds in the background. You just have to be prepared for anything. Michael doesn't have a lot of time for explaining things, it's a pretty fast paced shoot!"

Continue reading: Mark Wahlberg Would Clearly Do Anything For Michael Bay

Michael Bay at the Transformers: The Last Knight world premiere - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 18th June 2017

Michael Bay at the European Premiere of 'Deepwater Horizon' held at Cineworld, Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom - Monday 26th September 2016

Michael Bay at the European Premiere of 'Deepwater Horizon' held at Cineworld, Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom - Monday 26th September 2016

Michael Bay - 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows' World Premiere at Madison Square Garden at Madison Square Garden - New York, New York, United States - Monday 23rd May 2016

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi Trailer

Benghazi, Libya has become out-of-control, with Islamic extremists terrorising the state with multiple bomb attacks. As such, the CIA operatives that have been stationed there to covertly observe the terrorism are in more danger than ever before, and so an elite team of former military weapons and manouvre experts are brought on for ultimate security. Jack Da Silva is the team's newest recruit, having previously trained SEALs at the Coronado Navy base. Led by the sharp and formidable Rone, the six-man group face their first major attack when Islamic radicalists storm the US embassy. With the death of an American Ambassador occurring not long after, it's clear that these men have something close to a suicide mission to undertake. But they're willing to risk everything to save the rest of their country's civilians.

Continue: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi Trailer

Paramount Considering Expanding Transformers Franchise

By Elinor Cosgrave in Movies / TV / Theatre on 29 March 2015

Transformers Michael Bay Shia LaBeouf Mark Wahlberg

Paramount Pictures are considering expanding the 'Transformers' universe and Akiva Goldsman is in negotiations to head up the writing team.

The Transformers universe will be expanding and Paramount, the studios behind the hit films, are in negotiations to hire Akiva Goldsman to head a group of writers to pen a series of Transformers scripts. If Goldsman is hired, he will be working alongside director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg.

Image caption 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' was just awful. Just awful.

Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas and The Legend of Hercules received six nominations each, while Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - another idea from the mind of Michael Bay - was also nominated for worst picture.

Continue reading: 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' Could Clean Up At Razzies 2015

Michael Bay Changes Tack, Will Direct Political Drama '13 Hours'

By Michael West in Movies / TV / Theatre on 30 October 2014

Michael Bay

Michael Bay has spent years making 'Transformers' movies, but it looks like he's finally ready to let go.

Forget Transformers 5, or Pain & Gain 2, because Michael Bay is ready to show the world that he can direct a movie with a coherent plot line. The action-filmmaker has signed on to helm Benghazi political drama 13 Hours.

Image caption 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' is the 9th highest grossing movie of all time

With Mark Wahlberg now leading the cast, Bay has acknowledged that "there's a lot that's unexplored" in the Transformers world, though says he will hand over to another director. In a feature in USA Today, the paper said the filmmaker "believes he will pass the baton for future Transformer movies to a new director while he turns his focus elsewhere."

Continue reading: Michael Bay "Passing On The Transformers Baton" - But Does Anybody Want It?

10 Of The Worst 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Reviews

By Stephanie Chase in Movies / TV / Theatre on 11 August 2014

Megan Fox Michael Bay

Just how bad are the reviews for 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'?

Critics haven't exactly been kind to the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, which opened in US theatres on Friday. Scoring just 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, the Michael Bay produced reboot has suffered a critical mauling, yet it's still predicted to rake it in at the weekend box office. But before you head off to the cinema for 100 minutes of disappointment, here's 10 of the film's most damning reviews to help change your weekend plans.

Image caption Teenage Mutnat Ninja Turtles is expected to do well at the box office

"Too-brief thrills only shine a harsher light on the film's laborious pacing and cringeworthy one-liners spilling from the maws of the ninja teens. Soren Anderson If ever there was a movie that should not have been made, this is that movie." -Kyle Anderson, Entertainment Weekly

Continue reading: 10 Of The Worst 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Reviews

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Is Awful - But It's Gonna Take $60 Million

By Michael West in Movies / TV / Theatre on 09 August 2014

Megan Fox Michael Bay

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' could be back for a sequel. Really.

Despite reviews so appalling they bordered on the ridiculous, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles should comfortably overhaul Guardians of the Galaxy at the box-office this weekend, on its way to a cool $50 million debut. The Michael Bay produced Megan Fox starrer is exceeding expectations, with Paramount originally estimating its debut at around $40 million.

Image caption Look at that Turtle.

Marvel's Guardians is no slouch and is expected to take $40 million in its second weekend for a global total of $300 million. A sequel for that movie is already confirmed, but at this rate, Bay and his team might have to start thinking about investing more time in those wise-cracking Turtles.

Continue reading: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Is Awful - But It's Gonna Take $60 Million

Michael Bay - 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Lexington Avenue Armory - Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 13th November 2013