MGM's 'Red Dawn' Remake Will Have North Korea as Revised Villain

March 16, 2011
Source: LA Times

Red Dawn

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.

Red Dawn PosterThe 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?

Red Dawn Cast Photo

Find more posts: Discuss, Hype, Movie News, Opinions



N. Korea? um...ok...I'm sure it will be fine.

Anonymous on Mar 17, 2011


Unrealistic! North Korea doesn't even have the capacity to deploy forces overseas. Not to mention South Korea being our ally and U.S. Forces in theater. It would have been more believable if they stuck with China as the invading country and North Korea as their ally.

Mgdulan on May 25, 2011


Ummm... If you know about RED DAWN there ar eno "Over Sea Deployments" its a Air Invasion which any country in the world has the capacity to pull off and South Korea would be our ally so catch up with time and know whats going on in the world idiot.

Barrusjoshua79 on Aug 15, 2011


That didn't even make sense...

Cepenta on Nov 9, 2011


Simspsons did it

Shikaka on Mar 17, 2011


So, they're spending more time and money trying not to piss off one country in order to piss off another. Please, just release it already. Something tells me that yesterday's release of HOMEFRONT had something to do with this...

Icefilm on Mar 17, 2011


I got the same vibe.

Anonymous on Mar 17, 2011


ditto but this one will be even less believable

Jericho on Mar 17, 2011



Anonymous on Mar 17, 2011


If your choice is between pissing off the country that holds 1.2 trillion dollars worth of your debt, or pissing off the country that has spent the past 70 years ineptly attempting to destroy you and itself, you pick the second one.

Lebowski on Mar 17, 2011


That's either being smart or being a coward...

Anonymous on Mar 17, 2011


All of the actors look like fashion models. Not realistic at all. PASS.

Thanos on Mar 17, 2011


This sounds like a late summer dumping ground release. I say it'll come out somewhere between August 26th and September 16th.

Anonymous on Mar 17, 2011


So basically this will cause endless comparisons not to Red Dawn but Homefront...and I don't see without a very hard R how this could live up to the general unnerving feeling of the game. I can't help but think this will be a TERRIBLE movie.

Kyle A. Kiekintveld on Mar 17, 2011


Just like Homefront is a terirble game.

IzMe on Mar 17, 2011



Alleycat4444 on Mar 17, 2011


What did I tell you guys? Last year I had posted about a story from the Finanicial Times that the MGM sale was hung up simply because no studio wanted to be banned from any movie showing in China because of Red Dawn. Whether it was true or not about the whole MGM sale problem, it was definitely true Red Dawn was a problem for MGM with James Bond and the Hobbit down the way.

Singular on Mar 17, 2011


actually...i remember that...

Jericho on Mar 17, 2011


politics aside, being Chinese, I would have preferred it left as China instead of the change to N.K. For better or worse, it would have amused me a little at least. heh =P

lego on Mar 17, 2011


Wow, I never thought China would've had a problem with this. Unless of course the idiot filmmakers depicted the Chinese soldiers as a bunch of derps or sadists. (MINOR) SPOILER ALERT: The original film had depicted both the Cuban General and the Russian soldiers in a human, if not dignified manner. The 'atrocities', for a lack of a better word, depicted in the film were shown to be a result of the occupation/war itself and vilified war in general.

Anonymous on Mar 17, 2011


The story was good.

Jinky Holgado on Mar 17, 2011


I can really see North Korea having the capability to occupy America....why didn't just have some Afgans take Washington....

Steve on Mar 17, 2011


So I'm supposed to believe that N. Korea can invade the US. And also believe that all Korean and Chinese people look alike. Sorry MGM, I'm not an idiot and racist/ignorant. But I'm betting you think most of America is those things. Well played MGM, well played.

Matt on Mar 17, 2011


I was thinking that too Matt about whether they would just change the uniforms, 'cause all Asians look the same right?'. Just a big bag full of dumb, but it is based on a film made in a time when you could get away with a lot of stupid shit.

Crapola on Mar 18, 2011


to answer you question, most actors in this film are Korean since no Chinese actors were willing to take part so I guess somehow the studio got it right this time?

Stan on Mar 18, 2011


Typical "yellow-peril" racist, hate-mongering propaganda spawned from the morass of ignorance and greed called Hollywood. Don't be surprised if this 35mm exercise in pandering to racial polarization, ethnic hatred and the marginilization of Asian Americans and Korean Americans ignites a Kristallnacht-style backlash of angry unemployed rednecks, neo-nazis and skinhead buffoons against Asians.

Gotwa229 on Mar 17, 2011


it will be bad movie...and everyone knows no one pays attention to bad movies....

Jericho on Mar 17, 2011


North Korea invading the U.S and not China? That makes less than zero sense (which means it makes negative sense =P).

Mr.Cookie on Mar 17, 2011


North Korea invading USA make zero sense. The nation is the size of New Jersey, they have 1960's technology and are bankrupt. Wow... Hollywood is just TOO willing to self-censor themselves so they don't offend a totalitarian government that has the power to censor what films the chinese people see.

Silvae on Mar 17, 2011


I also want to say I just lost all interest in seeing this film. Way to go, MGM.

Silvae on Mar 17, 2011


Soooo... its coming out right?

Lamar on Mar 17, 2011


I just want to see it already.

Marc Walker on Mar 17, 2011


The best thing to do would be to release Red Dawn as is in the USA and then release the North korean version in China. That would be the smart way to go. The north korean version is going to flop in the USA. Alot of folks are very unhappy with this. MGM just sold out the american audience in favor of China. I join with many others in saying that I just lost all interest in seeing this film. MGM if your smart release two versions of the film. If not and you think spitting on the american audience is the way to go, then dont be surprised when this film tanks at the boxoffice. First we had to wait an extra year for this film because of your lame bankruptcy problems, then you go and want to change up the villians after the film is made. Beyond stupid. MGM you just lost the American audience.

Larry on Mar 17, 2011


It was never going to be shown in China in the first place. Kundun was never shown in China and MGM should've known from past experience since they were banned in China then. Money is money and that what at the center of this. If MGM wants to be banned from rising box office giant in the near future then they can show Red Dawn as is. But like I said, this is not about politics but money at the center of this.

Singular on Mar 18, 2011



Derrick Shanks on Mar 18, 2011


i read about this its odd

A5J4DX on Nov 13, 2018


i read about this its odd

A5J4DX on Nov 13, 2018


It would be more realistic if America invaded North Korea, since we've invaded dozens of countries, killed millions, and used nuclear weapons on civilian populations and North Korea has not so much as shot a bullet into another country in its history (and no, South Korea is not another country.. It's a part of Korea.. the artificial division is imposed and maintained by the good ole' USA).

Bell Branson on Mar 19, 2011


So China is an evil "communist" threat yet they are revising the movie so it will sell in the Chinese MARKET? Anybody else sense the contradiction?

Fake on Mar 19, 2011


Yes, it is called business.

Crayan on May 12, 2011



enough on Apr 3, 2011


Thanks MGM for going politically correct on us.It's nice to see you put a dollar sign before a quality product.

Metalmorph on May 21, 2011


I loved the older Red Dawn and can't wait to see this new one.  If the bad guys are North Korea then I think that is a good idea.  Just release the movie already.

Susan Payne on Jun 26, 2011


Its August 1st now, and still no word when Red Dawn 2011 is going to be released, even after changing the villians to North Korea/asian coalition??  Guess its headed to DVD. MGM needs to let the people know whats going on.

Larry on Jul 31, 2011


stocks exchange falling, dollar loosing value, all the ingredients are here to see the film come true... in real life!

R_r on Aug 10, 2011


Its now September, still no word on when if ever Red Dawn 2011 will be released.  Way to go MGM, even after selling your souls to communist China, this movie still may not see the light of day. 

Larry on Sep 6, 2011


OK, trash the whole thing.   I got an idea, make it a Cloverfield style movie. 

Justin8836 on Sep 8, 2011


Takes place in and around Colorado Springs, Co.   A strategic target for any occupying force.  NORAD, AFA, Fort Carson, Falcon, Peterson, and Shriver AFB's.  College kids catch it all on film as they flee into the surrounding mountains.  They decide to film and document all their actions. The occupying force could be a coalition of Iran and NK, along with Venezuela.  The US has been forced to draw down its miltary due to lack of DOD budget, a financial crisis and energy crunch.  Hugo Chavez uses his oil to as a bargaining chip to create a S. American coalition.  He then create mess in central American countries and funds drug cartels in Mex. to overthrow the Mexican government creating a launching pad for an invasion. Iran smuggles in 1 low grade nuke calibrated to create a massive EMP burst on the west coast.  All communications and infrastructure are toast from San Diego to Seattle.  While the governement is scrambling, intellegence reports indicate NK bombing and attacking South Korea, Japan, and missle strikes into HI.   The US scrambles military assets on the west coast with minimal intellegence and communication to counter the attack.  With all the attention on the west coast......Thus begins the invasion from Mexico.

Justin8836 on Sep 8, 2011

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