The pop culture response to the spectre of Donald Trump continues to build, with a fierce bidding war for a new film project culminating in a victory for Universal. The studio reportedly fought hard for the rights to Little America, and has now attached Michael Bay to produce the film – with writer-director Rowan Athale taking the helm.
This is a big moment for Athale, whose only previous credit is the 2012 movie Wasteland (also known as The Rise), which he wrote and directed. That film saw a man seek revenge against a local drug kingpin, while trying to win back his girlfriend. Little America, it would seem, takes those same ‘male-hero/damsel-in-distress’ themes and builds upon them with commentary on the current political climate.
It’s set in a dystopian future in which a megalomaniacal businessman has won the U.S Presidency and has succeeded in bankrupting the nation after China calls in its sizeable debts. Now owned by China, America sees levels of unemployment and poverty rise drastically. Against this backdrop, the daughter of a Chinese billionaire is lost in the ‘American ghetto,’ and a former member of the American Force Recon is hired to rescue her. The plot certainly seems to borrow heavily from such genre fare as Escape From New York, but the difference to be made here surely lies in as-yet unannounced casting.
Little America will be the first American production for British filmmaker Rowan Athale, but the topical subject matter, and the attachment of Hollywood heavyweight Michael Bay, will undoubtedly ensure the interest of some notable names. The nature of the plot – on paper at least – also lends itself well to a project that can potentially employ some real diversity and inclusion both onscreen, and behind the scenes. As such, we’ll be paying close attention as the project begins to come together ahead of production.