Those worried about Hollywood’s possible evolution into China’s entertainer-in-chief have missed the boat – it has already evolved into that role. It’s hard to miss the Asiatic tint to the past few summers at the multiplex – everywhere you look, films are setting down in Beijing and Macau, sprouting cameos by Chinese stars, and product placements for goods western audiences have never heard of. The producers of World War Z (2013) removed a discussion over whether the zombie apocalypse started in China; Chinese villains were edited out of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End(2007) and Men in Black 3 (2012). When the writers of Battleship (2012) turned in a draft in which aliens only threatened the US, the premise was deemed “too American”.
These days, movie monsters head straight for the West Coast, laying waste to San Francisco and the Philippines, the better to sweep the entire Pacific Rim, threatening Hawaii and Hong Kong, as did both Godzilla in this year’s big budget remake and the alien gigantosaurs of Pacific Rim (2013) – another ready-made symbol for the invading Hollywood behemoth, perhaps. Read more