Transformers 4 to shoot in China?
Paramount and Michael Bay look set to maximise the box office potential of Transformers 4 by opting for a Chinese shoot...
Hmmm. We try desperately hard to keep a lid on cynicism when reporting stories such as this, but sometimes, it's quite a challenge. We're talking about the news that Michael Bay's upcoming Transformers 4 is set to be shot, in part at least, in China.
That in itself isn't a problem. Heck, shoot a film wherever you like if it's what the story demands and needs. Sadly, though, it seems that it's a hefty business decision that's behind the decision in this case. Vulture has reported the news, saying that the plan is potentially to work with a local Chinese partner to help put the movie together. The end result would be that Transformers 4 is far more likely to get a wide release in Chinese cinemas.
Given that there are quotas on how many foreign movies are allowed into Chinese cinemas, and given the box office explosion in the country, there's a sizeable pot of gold in it for Paramount (and Bay) should the plan work.
It's obviously naive on our part to think of the Transformers films as too much more than business decisions (one of the reported reasons for separating this new film out so much from the previous one is to bring in a lot more potential for new toy sales). And, just because the film is being shot in a different country for financial reasons, it doesn't stand that the end product will be terrible, either. We'll wait and see how it turns out.
Paramount and Michael Bay haven't confirmed the news, as things stand. Here's the story at Vulture in the meantime, which talks in a lot more depth about Hollywood's attempts to get a bigger slice of the Chinese box office.