Over the decades, a pattern has emerged: When the country is in times of political or economic distress, Americans prefer to forget their troubles in the form of escapist entertainment. (Frothy Hollywood musicals about the lives and loves of the moneyed class were wildly popular during the Great Depression, for example.) So a story published this morning in The Hollywood Reporter about Universal winning a bidding war for the sci-fi script Little America is, frankly, rather confusing.
The film is set to be produced by the brainless entertainment specialists at Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, and is described as a “sci-fun” story rather than a sci-fi one. But the story is set in a dystopian future where a president clearly modeled after Donald Trump has bankrupted America, and American workers regularly emigrate to China to try to find work. In this environment, an ex-member of the American Force Recon is hired by a Chinese billionaire to rescue his daughter from the poverty-stricken hellscape of a major American city. So like Escape From New York meets tomorrow’s headlines, basically. But who knows—maybe by the time this movie comes out, things will be so fucked, this will seem like escapist entertainment.