Get a sneak peek at Rian (Brick) Johnson's time-traveling assassin film, Looper, from a few new prop photos. Plus learn how the movie's Chinese financial backers are helping to turn it into a vision of a future of Chinese supremacy.
Slashfilm has a collection of Johnson's props demonstrating what a scooter and a water fountain will look like in China 60 years from now. Here are a couple more of the images. More at the site:
But just who will be the dominant power in the future that Johnson is envisioning? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Looper is getting some much-needed funding from Chinese production company DMG, which previously invested in the propaganda film Birth of a Republic, a near-hagiography of Chairman Mao. And because of DMG's close ties to the state-run China Film Group (CFG), which put out Birth of a Republic, Looper may be able to gain access to the lucrative Chinese market, in spite of strict controls on the number of foreign films allowed to be shown in China each year. Also, Chinese actress Xu Qing is joining the cast, as the wife of Bruce Willis' character.
And in return, Looper will be doing its overseas filming in China — not in France, as previously planned. In the future depicted in Looper, China has become ascendant over the United States — something that its new investor, DMG, was very keen to emphasize at a party in Beijing yesterday. At the party, DMG showed a promotional video for Looper which blared, "Sixty years from now China is the leading super power and time travel has been invented."
(It's not clear how much, if any, of the film is actually set in China, or whether China will simply perform the same role as France would have in an earlier version of the film. It's also not clear how much, if at all, the script is being revised to reflect the rise of China as the world's leading superpower.)
All of the American characters in the film will be using Chinese money, which will be redesigned, according to the Hollywood Reporter:
To lend Looper a futuristic feel – and project one possible outcome of the real-life currency valuation debate ongoing between Washington and Beijing — DMG's design department is mocking up a futuristic Chinese note that will used as money throughout the movie, DMG's director of international business said. Asked whose likeness would feature on the new notes, L.A.-based Daniel Postaer said: "Mao, of course. There are some things you just don't change."