LOS ANGELES—Saying that he’s wanted to do something a little more personal for some time now, director Michael Bay, known for such big-budget action films as Transformers and Armageddon, announced Tuesday the start of production on What Are The Odds?, a quirky romantic comedy about two unlikely explosions who fall in love.
According to Bay, who also wrote the script for the film, the rom-com centers around a type-A helicopter blast who thinks it has it all figured out when a free-spirited diesel truck explosion unexpectedly enters its life and shakes everything up.
“It’s really a nice little story because, on paper, these massive fireballs know they are wrong for each other, but they also have this undeniable connection they can’t ignore,” said Bay, adding that he’d actually been thinking about making a pared-down film about the small, everyday interactions between detonations since studying film in college. “This movie asks common, everyday questions like, ‘How does a jet-fueled explosion find love in this day and age?’ and ‘Can a high-octane blast really settle down? Or will it always chase any cheap-thrill oil tanker explosion any chance it gets?’”
“And the movie’s funny, too,” Bay added. “When a big misunderstanding leads to one explosion blowing up the Eiffel Tower and the other destroying the Empire State Building, well, let’s just say audiences are going to get a kick out of that scene.”
From the fireballs’ memorable meet-cute, when the two flaming eruptions accidentally bump into each other after one wave of fire blows through the Holland Tunnel and the other detonates when a 16-wheeler careens over a highway overpass, to how they initially fall in love after razing a New York café in a fiery inferno, Bay said that What Are The Odds? is, at its core, a love story.
While Bay didn’t want to give too much of the plot away, the director said that even though the explosions’ combustible materials couldn’t be more different—jet fuel is lighter than diesel and has anti-microbial agents, he noted—both ultimately share a common desire to settle down and one day blow up the United Nations building.
And, according to a smiling Bay, this is a film where dreams and desires definitely come true.
“You know, the more you live, the more you understand that an explosion, whether it’s a mushroom cloud pluming over Alcatraz or a fireball from a detonated extraterrestrial robot, only wants one thing: another explosion to share its life with,” the Pearl Harbor director told reporters. “I think I try to find that connection in all my films, but this movie gives me a chance to tell that story in a much more intimate way.”
Though shooting has just begun on the project, Bay said his lead pair of proximate pyrotechnics have the most chemistry of any two explosions he’s ever had the privilege of working with. Bay remarked that the intimacy they share will certainly help during a particularly sexy scene when both fireballs intertwine with one another and blaze up an elevator shaft, and when the two have a major fight and burn Los Angeles to the ground.
The cast is reportedly rounded out by the helicopter explosion’s best friend, a quirky fertilizer plant explosion, and the truck explosion’s father played by a “very funny” James Brolin.
“There is definitely the typical rom-com staples in this movie, but the film has a lot of depth and tells a story about relationships that I think moviegoers will really connect with,” Bay said. “Buildings come crashing to the ground, airports go up in flames, the Brooklyn Bridge gets incinerated, thousands of cars get blown up, and Mt. Rushmore gets turned into dust.”
“It’s a departure, for sure,” he added, “but I think it will be interesting for audiences to see this side of me.”
According to studio sources, the budget for What Are The Odds? is $250 million.