‘Project Almanac’ Removes a Controversial Plane Crash Scene and Michael Bay Apologizes
In the found footage time travel film ‘Project Almanac’ (formerly titled ‘Welcome to Yesterday’), director Dean Israelite includes footage of a plane crash, which you’ll also spot in the trailer. As it turns out, that plane crash footage isn’t the result of special effects, but real footage from a real plane crash in 1994. Maybe you didn’t notice this footage in the trailer, but the families of two of the victims involved in that crash definitely did, and they were not too pleased.
The complaints from the families of Col. Robert Wolff and Lt. Col. Mark McGeehan were first picked up by the Air Force Times, and producer Michael Bay has responded with an apology and a promise to work with Israelite and Paramount to remove the footage:
My relationship with the United States military has been very strong my entire film career. Every branch of service has appeared in my past films or TV shows. I have encountered nothing more than extraordinary brave men and women who serve our country. I’m very proud to be able to represent them professionally in my films.
Unfortunately today I learned that the movie “Project Almanac,” produced by my Platinum Dunes company, directed by a talented first-time director, used a 2-second shot in a grainy news clip of a real B-52 crash. When the director presented his cut to me, I actually thought the short clip was a created visual effect like many of the other shots in the film.
I let film directors make their movies at Platinum Dunes and give them tremendous responsibilities. Well, unfortunately a very bad choice was made to use a real crash instead of creating a VFX shot, without realizing the impact it could have on the families.
I have asked Paramount Pictures to remove this shot immediately from the picture. I want to also extend my deepest apology to the families, and also to the U.S. Air Force.
‘Project Almanac’ is just a week away from hitting theaters, and although the footage is brief, it’s no small task to alter a film headed into wide release. Kudos to Michael Bay for the apology and for taking immediate action to correct the issue.
‘Project Almanac’ follows the exploits of teenage friends who construct a time travel device and use it to change the past to improve the present and the future—but they quickly discover that their changes have serious consequences. The long-delayed project is finally set to hit theaters on January 30.