Mark Wahlberg isn’t the only change to the Transformers franchise. As casting and writing continues for Transformers 4: The Dream Master, there’s speculation that Michael Bay and Paramount have considered setting the film in China. The reason? By doing this, the film would be guaranteed a wide release in China, increasing its overall box office.
The Chinese box office has been growing over the years while domestic ticket sales stagnate. According to Vulture, China is the the second-biggest international market just behind Japan, which China may surpass by the end of the year. If this is all true, Chinese cultural censors will need to approve the script for Transformers 4. To give you an idea how persuasive this can be, this was the reason that changes were made to the Red Dawn remake.
Nick pointed out that this move to China makes sense given how all Transformers merchandise is made there.
So because it’s Transformers, there are probably going to be Asian versions of Mudflap and Skids to offend the international market. Nick and I hashed it out by email. One is a goofy trickster named Joker who transforms into the world’s most disgusting Coke machine. The other is named Ancient Chinese Secret — a wise, old, and cartoonishly yellow-faced soul who transforms into a rickshaw pulled by a guy named Han. Mark Wahlberg nicknames Han “Rice Patty,” and just calls him that for three hours; yet Wahlberg’s character is remarkably thick and doesn’t understand the hurtfulness of the name. He assumes it’s like calling a doctor “Doc,” a left-handed person “Lefty,” or a piano player in a brothel “Professor.”
But Han’s a Korean guy, which is why this is all so racist.[Via Vulture]