Michael Bay is doing a complete 180 with his next film, Pain and Gain, which is a relatively pared down movie, at least compared to his usual action fare.
Instead of a blank check budget with tons of CGI and an ear splitting soundtrack, Pain and Gain is being described as a low budget black comedy. Insiders are calling it Michael Bay's Pulp Fiction as well as his Fargo, about muscle-head body builders caught up in criminal activity.
Bay's apparently been developing this project (which is based on a true story), for about a decade, and it's going to have a tiny budget by today's standards, and certainly Bay standards: a mere $20 million.
Dwayne "The Rock" Nelson is reportedly on board as one of the gym rats, and Bay may be reuniting with Ed Harris, co-star of The Rock, as a PI investigating the case.
According to Collider and Vulture, Mark Wahlberg was also up for the second muscle man in the story, and has reportedly turned it down, where other reports claim he's still considering the film. Not to mention the rumor persists that Bay keeps getting pushed to make another Transformers movie in exchange for shooting Pain and Gain.
Michael Bay has been trying to get respect from the press for a long time, and who knows if Pain and Gain will finally bring those kudos, although he's certainly got plenty of fans, among them James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, and Steven Spielberg, who told Entertainment Weekly he hopes Bay will return to the Transformers series.
Being that Bay's movies are so macho and testosterone drenched, it could be a very clever move to turn his macho rep on its head. Only time will tell if it works, but as The Rock told Vulture, the movie's "on the right track," and it's always nice to see Ed Harris, one of our best actors, in anything.
Wahlberg told Collider, "I think it's gonna be something that people are gonna be very surprised that Michael's gonna do [it], but I think he's gonna do a great job with it. They better tell me quick so I can get out there and start bulking up. I've got the gym, I'm ready to go."