Michael Bay Directing Modest Little $20M Bodybuilder Crime Pic Next
When your last three movies combined cost nearly $550 million to make, a $20 million budget suddenly sounds... reasonable. Modest, even. So give Transformers auteur Michael Bay some credit for restraint with Pain & Gain, a real-life crime pic about bodybuilders-turned-criminals that he says he'll direct next.
The film is based on the true story reported in the Miami New Times in 1999 about a gang of men affiliated with a Florida bodybuilding gym who hatched a kidnapping and extortion plot that went awry. (Read the insane three-part New Times story here, here, and here.)
Speaking with MTV, Bay has described Pain & Gain as a black comedy and invoked Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction as a touchstone; given the colorful cast of characters involved in the crimes, the ultra-violent methods they used, and the potential humor in their repeated bunglings of their operations you can see what he may mean, although the real-life victims -- some who survived, some who didn't -- might see it another way.
And another thing: This will not be shot in 3-D. Not that 3-D or robots or explosions or any other Bay signatures seem necessary for this scale, but it's still worth saying.