Tonight, I saw Mission Impossible III with JT. It was pretty much what I expected, but there is one thing I’ve been noticing about American movies recently. Recently, it seems like the protagonists go to China a lot more than they used to. Aside from MI3, which I just saw, quite a bit of Batman Begins was in China and even the last Star Wars movie had scenes shot in China. Part of me wonders if I’m noticing this just because the movies with some sort of Chinese element are more likely to make it to the theaters here, but it looks like I’m not the only one to notice:

[Xinhua] Chinese theme stories tend to prevail in Hollywood, and many grand-produced movies have contained a great deal of Chinese elements, attracting many viewers.  

It is reported that famous director Steven Spielberg has aimed at a traditional Chinese fairy story Journey to the West, and intended to produce a movie about it.

Since Mulan got high box office income in the US, Chinese stories have become hot subjects in the Hollywood.

I guess this is just one more sign of China’s rise. In all the old movies I used to watch from the era of Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, they never went to China. It was invariably someplace like France. Now, I can’t remember any Hollywood hits that had much to do with France since Sabrina in 1995, and that was a remake of an old Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn movie, anyway. Ang Lee’s next movie will be a Chinese-language spy thriller set in World War II-era Shanghai. The way things are going, though, I won’t be surprised if Spiderman III is set in Shanghai, too.