Demonstrating again the workmanlike efficiency that has made it such a global superpower where it super-sucks to work, China will soon speed up the slow, incipient transference of Hollywood to China by essentially building its own Hollywood—one that will also be stacked on top of a Chinese Orlando for increased economy. China’s wealthiest investor, Wang Jianlin, will complement his recent acquisition of the AMC theater chain by also constructing a place to make the movies that will go into it, announcing plans to complete the Oriental Movie Metropolis by 2017.
The Oriental Movie Metropolis will, according to various reports, cover around 58 million square feet of prime Qingdao real estate, costing anywhere from $4.9 billion to $8.2 billion. All that money will go toward building 20 soundstages, the world’s first underwater film studio, an enormous convention center, seven resort hotels, a shopping mall with an indoor amusement park, a film museum, a celebrity wax museum, a global IMAX research center, a tourist destination city with its own strip of bars and even a hospital, plus an “extreme car show,” as all modern movie studios must have. (It’s also within driving distance of that park where you can look at Jackie Chan’s stuff, which is now basically China’s Knotts Berry Farm.)
To secure his investment, Jianlin has already signed agreements with four of the biggest Hollywood agencies to draw top talent to work on the projected 30 foreign films it hopes to shoot each year, in addition to the 100 Chinese movies and TV shows it has planned, as well as get them to attend an annual film festival and awards ceremony set to begin in 2016. Some of that talent—like Nicole Kidman, John Travolta, Ewan McGregor, Kate Beckinsale, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Leonardo DiCaprio—were on hand at Jianlin’s announcement to welcome their new Chinese owners, with Jianlin reportedly spending more than $2 million alone just to get DiCaprio there, in addition to the snacks promised Travolta.
Obviously, Jianlin is confident that this was all money well-spent—just like he’s confident the Chinese government will yield to his plan for the Metropolis’ 300-berth yacht club, despite yachts being mostly banned for private use, due to both ongoing uneasiness with Taiwan and over China’s income gap. Indeed, all who might stand in the way of Jianlin’s vision of transforming China into the official home of “the future of the world’s film industry” would do well to heed his remarks, which contain an implicit warning to anyone thinking of making films that might displease China (should anyone still need to be warned about that).
“Those in the world film industry who realize this first and are among the first to cooperate with China will be the first to reap the benefits,” Jianlin said in an appropriately ominous statement, before returning to plans for his new Dream Factory where all the dreams are produced with strict government oversight, by Dream Factory workers who are assigned eight to a room for their allotted dream time.
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