Universal has won a heated bidding war to pick up the rights to Little America, a futuristic adventure movie that has Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes on board to produce.
Rowan Athale, the British filmmaker behind 2012’s crime thriller Wasteland, wrote the spec and is attached to direct. Bay would produce with his partners Andrew Form and Brad Fuller.
Described by sources as a “sci-fun” story rather than “sci-fi,” the tale is set in a dystopian future where a Donald Trump-like president has bankrupted America and China has called in its debts. The Asian giant now owns ths U.S., and many Americans have emigrated to China looking for work.
In this new world, a former American Force Recon member is hired by a Chinese billionaire to go into an American ghetto and rescue his daughter. Sources have said it is in the tone of Escape From New York, the 1981 John Carpenter film that starred Kurt Russell.
Bay and his cohorts are no strangers to dystopian futures as they produced, along with Blumhouse Productions, the popular Purge movie series for Universal that managed to tap into the current zeitgeist. Those movies were set in an America run by a wealthy white business class and in which once a year the people are allowed to commit atrocious crimes with no lawful repercussions. Platinum Dunes also produced the Ouija horror series with Blumhouse for Universal.
Athale made a bit of a splash on the U.K. film scene with Wasteland, which saw him nominated for British Independent Film Awards’ The Douglas Hickox Award for best debut director in 2013. He is repped by WME, Grandview and the U.K.’s 42.
Universal vp production Sara Scott and creative executive Mika Pryce will oversee the project for the studio.