Whether by asteroids, UFO’s, aliens or giant transforming robots, many American landmarks have been destroyed in Hollywood movies. But now that Hollywood is starting to shift toward China, Beijing won’t be receiving the same cinematic beating that some of America’s biggest cities have taken in Hollywood movies, at least not in the latest installment of "Transformers."
According to a statement, Marc Ganis, the president of Jiaflix Enterprises, the Hollywood company producing the fourth installment of the "Transformers" action movies, tentatively titled "Transformers: Rise of Galvatron," Beijing’s landmarks will be safe from robot destruction. “Pangu Plaza is an extraordinary and iconic building that will make a memorable visual in the movie, especially set against the beautiful National Stadium, National Aquatic Center and Olympic Green,” Ganis said in the statement, describing some of the landmarks that could be used in the movie.
“How this unique building is presented will be entirely up to the film’s director Michael Bay and his team,” Ganis added. Bay's fans will know that massive destruction comes with the territory of a blockbuster action film. But Ganis also said that while the movie will stay true to the action genre, it won’t necessarily come at the cost of Beijing’s landscape.
The production of the "Transformers" film in China comes on the heels of the hotly talked about "Iron Man 3," which not only filmed some scenes in China, but even had a special release that featured content geared toward the Chinese audience. The special release was not well received by local audiences, many of whom though the content was too contrived and obviously trying to please their cash-cow audience.
Ganis says "Transformers" will be taking a different approach in China, though it too will cast a famous Chinese actress, in this case Li Bingbing, as "Iron Man 3" did. “So much of the movie takes place in China and the character she plays is a Chinese national. So it’s a very natural position for her to have,” Ganis said. “There is going to be a single version worldwide with a very significant Chinese component.”
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Ganis is hoping that the fourth "Transformers" movie will prove to be a hit in China, because unlike previous Hollywood movies, it's aiming for a deeper connection to the Chinese people and culture. “Work on story lines, work on demonstrating what Chinese culture is like, what the Chinese people are like and show that to the world as a natural part of the story,” he said.
The "Transformers" franchise has been wildly popular in China. Its most recent movie, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," surpassed 1 billion yuan, or roughly $163 million, at the box office. The new, China-centric "Transformers" is slated to come out next summer.