We need to be respectful of our new financial overlords. So it’s a known fact that China basically owns us lock, stock and barrel, right? China possesses $1.2 trillion of U.S. debt, more than American households do. And the increasing buying power leveraged by Chinese citizens is making their country more and more important to Hollywood. This year, the Obama administration even brokered a deal to let more American blockbusters screen there than ever before. But this? This might be too much to handle.
Transformers 4 shouldn’t even really exist. The first three live-action Transformers movies are everything that’s wrong with movies today. They’re loud, dumb, boring exercises in throwing CGI all over the screen and calling it a story. But they made money, and that’s all that matters, so they’re getting a fourth one. Michael Bay is back to direct, but the human cast of the first movie is out, replaced by an all-new set of disposable meatbags to deliver expository dialogue and maybe a romantic subplot. Oh, and Mark Wahlberg is in it too, for some reason.
The real shocker, though, is this: Paramount Pictures is seriously considering setting the flick in China and filming it there, not America. Vulture is reporting that there are several reasons for this. First, the possibility of partnering with a Chinese production company could save the studio a bunch of cash on the budget – with Transformers 3 costing almost $200 million to produce, having somebody to eat some of that cost is very attractive. And second, producing it in China greatly increases the odds that it will be shown in China, and that means a lot. China is now the second-largest foreign market for American films (Japan is still first), but they closely control what films get shown there and when.
What do you think? Does it even matter if China owns part of Transformers 4 in the long run? Will there be an outsourcing backlash against Paramount? Are they ever going to bring back the damn Dinobots?