For some reason, a fifth Transformers movie is being produced. The studio has not offered any word about plot details about the latest big budget epic about giant robots fighting each other while humans run for cover. However, one photo published in the British tabloid The Sun shows Blenheim Palace, where Winston Churchill was born, decorated with Nazi flags with German military vehicles parked outside. The photo has caused outrage in certain quarters, which some suggesting that the transformation of a British icon into a Nazi military headquarters shows disrespect to the dead Churchill, the man who saved Great Britain and the world from Adolf Hitler’s tyranny.

Advertisement

The studio, for its part, denies that any such disrespect was intended and suggests that Churchill (perhaps played by Anthony Hopkins) plays a heroic role in the movie.

The scene suggests that the film is going to veer into an alternate universe where the Nazis won World War II or at least successfully invaded Great Britain. In 1940, after overrunning France and the Low Countries, Hitler toyed with the idea of an amphibious invasion of Great Britain called Operation Sea Lion. But the heroic efforts of the RAF in fighting off the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain and the prospect of having to fight across the English Channel against the Royal Navy disabused Hitler of such notions.

Instead, the Nazis invaded Soviet Russia in 1941 and later wished they hadn’t.

The Transformers Movies, based on a line of toys and a children’s animated series, had gone in strange directions over the years. One film in the franchise depicted the astronauts of Apollo 11 discovering an enormous alien artifact on the lunar surface, something that did not get picked up in the live television coverage. Buzz Aldrin had a cameo appearance in which he is depicted as meeting one of the giant robot Transformers.

Advertisement

Transformers: The Last Knight is currently scheduled to be released in June 2017. Besides Sir Anthony Hopkins the movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, and John Goodman. The film will be directed by the incomparable Michael Bay.