The producers of “Transformers: The Last Knight,” the upcoming fifth installment of the blockbuster Paramount Pictures franchise, madee headlines in the United Kingdom this week for using Blenheim Palace as a stand-in for a Nazi headquarters in the new film.
Why’s the move so controversial? Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill — and it turns out that covering his former home in Nazi flags upset some people, chief among them editors of the British tabloid The Sun, who vented their indignation on Friday’s front page: “Goose-Stepping on Churchill’s Grave.”
The tabloid wasn’t alone in expressing its disapproval, as its reporters contacted Tony Hayes of Veteran’s Association UK, as well Colonel Richard Kemp, ex-commander of British forces in Afghanistan,” whom they quoted as saying: “I know its a film, but it’s symbolically disrespectful to Churchill. He will be turning in his grave.”
Director Michael Bay defended the use of Blenheim Palace, telling BBC News, “People have not been fortunate enough to read the script and they don’t know that Churchill in this movie is a big hero. Churchill would be smiling. When you see the movie you’ll understand.”
The involvement of Nazis and Churchill adds yet another wrinkle to the plot of “The Last Knight,” which already includes actor Liam Garrigan as King Arthur.
This isn’t the first time the Transformers films have experienced problems with their shooting locations. According to CNN, the crew for “Transformers: Age of Extinction” faced attempted extortion by groups linked to organized crime while filming in Hong Kong in 2013.
Opening June 23, 2017, “Transformers: The Last Knight” stars Mark Wahlberg, Isabella Moner, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Stanley Tucci and Anthony Hopkins.
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