Universal Pictures has won a bidding war for the rights to Little America, a film produced by Transformers director Michael Bay about a near-future America that is literally owned by China.
In the film, a “Trump-like president” has bankrupted the country and China has called in its debts, forcing the US into China’s servitude, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Americans are emigrating en masse to China for work. A Chinese billionaire hires a former US special forces member to infiltrate an American ghetto—presumably “Little America”—to find his daughter.
That doesn’t sound very fun at all. And yet, sources described the film to the Hollywood Reporter as “sci-fun,” as opposed to “sci-fi.” Bay’s production outfit, Platinum Dunes, is best known for developing The Purge film series about a similarly un-fun scenario, in which a future far-right American political party has legalized all crime for one night each year, leading to widespread consequence-free violence.
Hollywood clearly wants to capitalize on fears stoked by Trump’s presidency, especially with regard to international relations. (And they have plenty to go on: The president has already called for a nuclear arms race via Twitter.)
In real life, the US owes China about $1.2 trillion, or 7% of its total debt—a number that has dropped recently as China offloads some of its US holdings to boost its own currency. In a stance that runs counter to conventional wisdom, Trump has claimed that China’s ownership of US debt actually gives the US power over China. He has also incoherently mentioned the prospect of “negotiating” America’s debt down—presumably in a similar way to how he refinanced his massive debts as a businessman (a notion that has dumbfounded debt experts).
Even so, in the highly unlikely event that the US defaults on its payments, the idea that China could “own” the US is rather outlandish. In fact, the US currently owes Japan more money than it does China. Perhaps that could be the basis of Little America 2.