Following just a week after an assault on director Michael Bay, a second extortion attempt has come to the ongoing production of the fourth part of the “Transformers” film franchise, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”. A crew member working on the Kowloon set of the movie was approached by four men, believed to have links with the Chinese triad, who “intimidated her and asked for money.”
After she called the local police to report the incident, one of the four-man extortion gang, a 35-year-old man, was arrested, with the other three still at large. Apparently, extortions on Hollywood film productions in Hong Kong are common, although more often they usually involve residents making annoying noises to disrupt the shooting.
The president of the Hong Kong Directors Guild, Derek Yee Tung-sing, called the extortion attempts “ridiculous” and “more unusual than getting a jackpot,” saying the enormous popularity of the film could have well attracted the undue attention from the triad. It also doesn’t help the film keep a low profile during the filming especially when it has Hollywood movie star Mark Wahlberg in the cast, along with veteran actors Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer.
While the production tries to put these incidents behind them, the local police’s anti-triad unit will be investigating the case, which has been classified as blackmail.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is slated for a June 2014 release date.