China Now Owns ‘Rambo,’ ‘The Expendables,’ America’s Strategic Reserves of Oily Muscles
To quote our illustrious new Commander-in-Chief: “China. China China China. CHIIIIINA. China. China. China China China China. CHINA. China!” Our friends to the East have been gobbling up real estate in Hollywood at a rate that would be alarming if it didn’t bring us The Great Wall, which ruled, so things are cool for now. But the influence of China’s entertainment economy has become unavoidable among studio films, with Asian entertainment conglomerate Wanda recently purchasing Legendary and Paramount selling a 25 percent stake in their next three years of projects to Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media. Today brings news of another Hollywood takeover spearheaded by a Chinese company, with nothing less than American icon John Rambo caught in the middle.
The New York Post reports that the Beijing-headquartered company Recon Holdings has bought up 51 percent of stock in Millennium, giving them a controlling interest in the studio behind the Rambo films as well as Sylvester Stallone’s other blockbuster franchise The Expendables. The item goes on to elaborate that the $100 million deal will also enable Recon to now purchase the remaining 49 percent if they wish to do so, effectively rendering Millennium a Chinese company.
What this means for the common American moviegoer will become clearer in the months to come, but for now, a little safe speculation: it’s no coincidence that Recon is making their move now, as production begins on the fourth Expendables film set for a release in 2018. The franchise has always enjoyed a large following in Asia, due to both the presence of Chinese martial-arts icon Jet Li as well as the universal, language-transcending appeal of stuff blowing up real good. Expect a heightened Asian appeal in the next film, then possibly with more Li action. And don’t be surprised if their latest adventure lands them in Beijing, or parts nearby.