Michael Bay is calling “bullshit” on the James Bond franchise for holding the Guinness World Record for largest film stunt explosion. It was the 007 tentpole “Spectre” that set the record with one set explosion that had “a total yield of 68.47 tonnes of TNT equivalent.” Not so fast, Bay recently told Empire magazine. According to the mayhem-loving action director, his historical war epic “Pearl Harbor” has an even bigger explosion during the central attack sequence.
“[Producer] Jerry Bruckheimer showed Ridley Scott the movie,” Bay said. “And the quote [from Scott] was, ‘Fuck me.’ No one knows how hard that is. We had so much big stuff out there. Real boats, 20 real planes. We had 350 events going off. Three months of rigging on seven boats, stopping a freeway that’s three miles away.”
Bay added, “James Bond tried to take the ‘largest explosion in the world.’ Bullshit. Ours is.”
The scene in “Spectre” that set the Guinness World Record is when Blofeld’s base blows up following the movie’s climax. The most recent James Bond tentpole, “No Time to Die,” also set a Guinness World Record for the most high explosives detonated in a single film take. To depict the “No Time to Die” climactic bombing, a “total of 136.4kg TNT equivalent was detonated” on set.
“While we were rigging the explosions, one of the guys from Event Horizon, the explosive company, came up to me and said, ‘Oh, Chris, you know that there is a different record out there?’” Bond stunt action coordinator Chris Corbould told Guinness. “Now I thought we had got that with ‘Spectre,’ but apparently, there was another one for ‘the most high explosives in one shot.’ The record was for 65 kilograms of high explosives in one shot. We had 140 [kilograms] in our one.”
Speaking to Empire, Bay said “there’s a special sauce for explosions” and noted that many explosions in Hollywood films today “look cheesy, or they won’t have a shockwave.”
“There are certain ways with explosions where you’re mixing different things, and different types of explosions to make it look more realistic,” Bay added. “It’s like making a Caesar salad.”
Bay’s latest directorial effort, “Ambulance,” opens in theaters April 8 from Universal Pictures.