The Wulong Scenic Area in Chongqing is furious that even though Hong Kong is prominently featured in the new Transformers sequel, there was no product placement for the area in the movie. Representatives of the scenic area are so angry, in fact, they are suing the makers of the popular film franchise, reports Sina News.
Li Chu from Wulong’s Tourism Marketing Center said the film is presented in such a way that Hong Kong and Wulong scenes run together, which may make the audience think they are the same location.
CEO of the Wulong Karst Company Huang Daosheng announced on July 7 that the firm would be suing Paramount Pictures and 1905 Internet Technology for breach of contract.
According to the signed agreement, Huang says Transformers: Age of Extinction was to prominently feature a product placement that showed the Chinese characters that mean “Wulong, China”. This product placement was to have taken place during the [SPOILER ALERT!] taming of Dinobot leader Grimlock by fan-favorite Optimus Prime.
However, the Wulong Scenic Area signed the contract with 1905, one of the film’s producers, and not with Paramount Pictures, reports China Daily.
A spokesperson for the 1905 technology company named Liang agreed that the film’s producers did in fact break the contract, but countered by saying the scenic area had fallen five months behind in investment payments despite its contractual agreement, worrying producers of the film.
Liang said at first the product placement wasn’t implemented because it was impractical, then that the producers had made a mistake. However, upon hearing Huang’s intention to sue 1905, he revised his remarks to say:
The original plan was to display the words “Wulong, China” at the landmark of Green Dragon Bridge, but the producing team was under heavy pressure, and they (western audiences) don’t understand Chinese. A portion of audiences would have confused “Green Dragon Bridge” with “Wulong, China”.
Huang refuted Liang’s suggestion that Western audiences don’t comprehend Chinese, and further went on to claim that they had signs with the words “Wulong, China” especially made for the shoot, but couldn’t be on set to verify that the signs were being used.
Fans upset at the missed chance of seeing yet another Chinese product placement in the latest Transformers franchise can take heart. This film, on course to overthrow Avatar as the country’s top-grossing film of all time (predicted here), already has several product placements that are hard to miss among its many spectacles and streetlamps.