Universal Pictures is the highest-grossing studio of 2017 – well, at the moment. But will they have a chance to expand that more by picking up a Michael Bay project?
Bay, who made Paramount Pictures something like $3.8 billion with his Transformers films, is now looking to make a little cash through Universal with a film that some say is completely in-tune with the current state of political affairs.
Universal outbid all other studios to grab the distribution rights to Little America, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that examines a bankrupt America and a China calling in its $1.2 trillion or so debt.
Described by sources as a “sci-fun” story rather than “sci-fi,” the tale is set in a dystopian future where a Donald Trump-like president has bankrupted America and China has called in its debts. The Asian giant now owns the United States, and many Americans have emigrated to China looking for work.
Writing the film is from Rowan Athale, who wrote and direct Wasteland in 2012 (known in the United States as The Rise), and also one of the writers of the upcoming alien invasion science-fiction film Revolt with Halt and Catch Fire star Lee Pace.
Athale also will direct Little America, with Bay serving as a producer.
In this new world, a former American Force Recon member is hired by a Chinese billionaire to go into an American ghetto and rescue his daughter. Sources have said it is in the tone of Escape from New York, the 1981 John Carpenter film that starred Kurt Russell.
While it’s not clear what Donald Trump would do to the country as president, Bay himself has remained rather quiet on the political front, even when other celebrities have spoke up during last year’s presidential election. However, Bay also was the director of 13 Hours, an historical drama about the Benghazi embassy attack in 2012 that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
The film was criticized by some for what they felt were historical inaccuracies, including a “stand down” command that some say never happened, as well as Paramount Pictures’ efforts to market the film directly to conservatives during an election year.
13 Hours, however, didn’t wow moviegoers. It received mixed reviews, and its $69.4 million global box office take left it outside the list of the top 100 top-grossing films in the world last year.
Universal has yet to release any timetable of when the film would be produced and make its theatrical debut. However, casting could get underway as early as this spring.
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