Need for Speed was quite awful, and domestically it underperformed at the box office. However, overseas it was a hit (everyone speaks the language of fast, reckless driving), and now China wants to fund Need for Speed 2.
According to Variety, China Movie Channel Program Center, Jiaflix Enterprises, and 1905 Pictures are teaming with game developer Electronic Arts to develop a sequel to a picture with forgettable characters and weak plotting (the protagonist, played by Aaron Paul, is out on probation so naturally he drives as recklessly as possible). If this group can get the rights to a sequel from DreamWorks, then Need for Speed 2 would be filmed in China and Chinese actors would be “taking significant roles.”
I suppose I can’t be too upset at China funding American sequels when that’s the reason Pacific Rim 2 is going forward. The marketplace relies heavily on international box office, especially from China, so we have to accept that they now have a large say both in terms of what can included (don’t expect to see the Chinese depicted as villains) and also movies making room for Chinese actors. For example, Iron Man 3 had four minutes of extra footage (footage that wasn’t shot by director Shane Black), which is almost completely unnecessary to the story. Check out the footage below:
Don’t expect this trend to abate anytime soon. China not only holds U.S. debt; it’s also going to hold our actors and our studios.