Producer Michael Bay has apologized for the inclusion of a real-life plane crash in the trailer for found-footage time travel thriller Project Almanac, saying that Paramount Pictures will be removing the images from the finished film. The crash footage, presented in the film as a consequence of reckless time travel, appears to have been taken from a 1994 crash at Fairchild Air Force Base that killed four U.S. military officers. Its inclusion in the trailer was noticed—and protested by—family members of the deceased officers.
Bay has issued a statement of apology to the families, adding that he originally thought the footage was a visual effects shot created by Almanac’s first-time director, Dean Israelite. Bay went on to strongly criticize Israelite’s choice:
“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.”
It’s the sort of comment that could potentially invite a lot of fun jokes about how Michael Bay would prefer all shots, in all films to be CGI, if you weren’t still feeling kind of queasy from watching footage of people’s deaths being used to promote an average-looking time travel movie. Paramount has confirmed that it’ll be removing the crash footage from the film, and that it shouldn’t affect Project Almanac’s January 30 release date.
For those so interested, the film’s trailer, including the two-second clip of the crash, can be viewed below. Air Force Times also has a comparison video on its web site, confirming that the trailer matches up extremely closely with footage of the Fairchild crash.