Following in a long line of highly regarded films shot in D.C. -- including "Earth vs. the Flying Saucer" and, um, "Legally Blonde 2" -- the third "Transformers" movie is due to shoot here in September.
Except those Robots in Disguise have displeased the mighty National Park Service, reports the Washington Post.
Bill Line, Park Service spokesman, said the producers "have asked to do some things that simply are not done on the National Mall," among them staging a "car race" along the Mall's gravel paths and flooding it with artificial light in order to shoot at night.
"A lot of this could be more appropriately shot in a Hollywood studio," Line said. "The National Mall is not an area in which Americans come to see high-tech action movies being shot."
... Which begs the question, WHY NOT? Imagine, for one second, how mind-blowingly epic that would be. This town of 3,000 cupcake boutiques could use a heart-stopping car chase featuring robotic aliens every now and then.
Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks had planned for 14 filming days, plus about a month of production here in the District, according to the Post. A Paramount spokeswoman said negotiations are ongoing, and that they're now looking at about seven days.
"The robots will be here," promised Kathy Hollinger, director of the D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, in the Post. "It's not like they're going to be building and having these little miniature Transformers running around and then make them look real with CGI effects afterward."
Hollinger also said the film will have a positive economic impact, with increased tourism expected -- and 50 local residents will be trained for production assistant jobs.
Optimus Prime was unavailable for comment.