MGM's 'Red Dawn' Remake Will Have North Korea as Revised Villain
MGM stirring up more trouble? The LA Times reports very candidly on MGM's recent decision to revise the villain in their already-completed remake of the 1980's classic Red Dawn, directed by Dan Bradley. They report that the original villain of the Chinese invading America, already updated from Russia/U.S.S.R. in the 1984 film with Patrick Swayze, will be revised to North Korea, because of concern for the Chinese box office. Go figure, it's all about business. "The filmmakers now are digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols from Red Dawn, substituting dialogue and altering the film." Let's hope it doesn't cause a backlash.
The decision was apparently made by MGM alone, "no one at the studio has had discussions with Chinese government officials about Red Dawn." Over the last few years, the box office in China has become a key place to make strong earnings, which is why you see films like The Karate Kid working with them. In business terms, this is just them watching out for their product. "We were initially very reluctant to make any changes," says Tripp Vinson, one of the producers. "But after careful consideration we constructed a way to make a scarier, smarter and more dangerous Red Dawn that we believe improves the movie." I certainly hope so.
While we know what the film is about, we haven't seen a trailer yet, just some cast photos and set photos filled with Chinese symbols. The Times says "the changes will cost less than $1 million and involve changing an opening sequence summarizing the story's fictional backdrop, re-editing two scenes and using digital technology to transform many Chinese symbols to Korean." But since they can't erase everything, it'll just feel like "North Korea [has] a much larger role in the coalition that invades the U.S." Well alright, maybe that won't be so bad, that vagueness is kinda what makes the original so good. But when the hell will we see this?
Here's another positive statement about the villain change from the executive VP of marketing:
"MGM has been working with the film Red Dawn's director and producers to make the most commercially viable version of the film for audiences worldwide," said Mike Vollman, executive vice president of worldwide marketing. "We want to ensure the most people possible are able to experience it."
Directed by stuntman and second unit director Dan Bradley, Red Dawn was originally scheduled to arrive last September, until MGM went under. As we all know, the film is about a group of teenagers who go on the run and try to save their town from a "foreign" invasion on American soil. Who we now know as Thor, Chris Hemsworth, and Josh Peck play brothers Jed & Matt Eckert, roles originally played by Patrick Swayze & Charlie Sheen. Also in the cast: Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Edwin Hodge and Connor Cruise. Despite all of this talk, there still isn't a release date set. However, I'm guessing we might see it by the end of the year, as long as we keep our fingers crossed. I know this news may befuddle some folks, but I just really want to see the film, no matter who's the villain; we've all been waiting to see this movie forever!
Read the full LA Times article for more insight into the change and Chinese box office. What do you make of this news from MGM? Upsetting, infuriating? Or do you just want to see the damn thing already?