Well, this is unexpected.

Oscar winning actor Anthony Hopkins is best-known for playing the charismatic, villainous cannibal Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs and its sequel and prequel.

More recently he starred in sci fi series Westworld and next he’ll feature in Transformers: The Last Knight, which is for release in June 2017.

Hopkins has been full of praise for Michael Bay, who directs and produces the latter and has directed and produced all the Transformers films so far. Some of us would consider the films (particularly the later ones) an abomination on blockbuster cinema, having become pure explosion and CGI-filled nonsense. But Hopkins disagrees.

The actor plays the Autobot friendly historian/astronomer Sir Edmund Burton in the upcoming fifth instalment in the series and when speaking to Yahoo! Movies at last week’s CinemaCon, he said: “All those machines and those Transformers are created by Michael. And he was telling me about the work he did on them – how he would refine them and go into the special effects guys and design them and get all the details of light on metal and all that.

“He told me all that at breakfast before I started on the film. I thought ‘This guy’s a genius. He really is.’ He’s the same ilk as Oliver Stone and Spielberg and Scorsese. Brilliance. Savants, really, they are. He’s a savant.”

Being compared to some of the greatest filmmakers of all time is quite the compliment.

Hopkins said he had seen the first two movies in the franchise (2007’s Transformers and 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) prior to the Last Knight opportunity coming along, and then caught up with Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) and Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) to get up to speed.

“[They are] terrific,” Hopkins said. “They’re created by a genius.”