Good news: “Red Dawn” remake changes villains from China to North Korea

posted at 5:09 pm on March 16, 2011 by Allahpundit

Thus does Hollywood’s list of “acceptable” villains shrink a bit further. Refreshingly, though, this decision’s being driven not by politics but by good ol’ greed. There’s a lot of gold to be mined at the Chinese box office, so producers naturally figure they’re better off not depicting the local army as a brutal, anti-American force with no qualms about killing civilians.

Because that would be unfair.

[P]otential distributors are nervous about becoming associated with the finished film, concerned that doing so would harm their ability to do business with the rising Asian superpower, one of the fastest-growing and potentially most lucrative markets for American movies, not to mention other U.S. products.

As a result, the filmmakers now are digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols from “Red Dawn,” substituting dialogue and altering the film to depict much of the invading force as being from North Korea, an isolated country where American media companies have no dollars at stake…

Dan Mintz, whose DMG Entertainment is a leading producer and distributor of movies in China, said the “Red Dawn” story dramatizes how Western companies can fundamentally misunderstand how the nation works. If the picture had gone out without redacting the Chinese invaders, he said, “there would have been a real backlash. It’s like being invited to a dinner party and insulting the host all night long. There’s no way to look good…. The film itself was not a smart move.”…

People close to the picture said 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. It’s impossible to eliminate all references to China, the people said, though the changes will give North Korea a much larger role in the coalition that invades the U.S.

According to the LAT, there’s a chance that the movie could be shelved entirely, lest the offense taken by the Chinese government at its mere existence cause problems for MGM inside China in the future. In a way, the change makes the movie more fun: If you squint and pretend really hard, you can kinda sorta maybe imagine how the fortunes of the U.S. and China could change to the point where an invasion is plausible-ish. But the idea of North Korea leading a global communist expeditionary force is so amusing that I’m looking forward to seeing how they explain it. On the other hand, the whole point of “Red Dawn” is to exploit American jitters over a rival superpower with (eventual) expansionist ambitions. In which case … North Korea? Really?

Exit question one: Why didn’t the producers realize they’d run into this problem in the first place? Exit question two: Instead of changing the identity of the invaders, why not just recut the ending for foreign distribution to show China winning? Box office gold.


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So, it’s not China; it’s just a puppet state entirely controlled by China doing all the dirty work.

Well, that’s totally different then.

logis on March 16, 2011 at 7:17 PM

WTF … I’m missing something here …

The CHINESE WERE NOT the villains in RED DAWN …

The villains were the Soviets – and their Cuban allies – that’s who invaded the US.

The Chinese were ON OUR SIDE in that movie.

HondaV65 on March 16, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Exactly, in fact in the movie we were told that the Soviets nuked the Chinese and killed off about 600m of them.

slickwillie2001 on March 16, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Just exactly how do they invade the US today anyway? I remember when the Chinese first got the atom bomb but had no plane or missile capable of delivering it. The running joke was they would tunnel under the Pacific, come up, destroy Hollywood, and no one noticed.

Deanna on March 16, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Even dumber than before

DarkCurrent on March 16, 2011 at 8:04 PM

The events you see play out are brutal. The game itself can really push the emotions. As a first person shooter, however, it’s mediocre. Forced down a narrow path, minimal opportunity to use strategy…very run-of-the-mill. Plus, the game is woefully short. I’ll find out tonight whether the multiplayer does anything to redeem it.

MadisonConservative on March 16, 2011 at 5:48 PM

The first person shooter aspects of it are like a bad Gears of War or early Call of Duty. Way too linear movement, and constantly respawning enemies until you hit a cerrtain trigger. We’ll see how the multiplayer works.

The Homefront story line was written by the same guy that wrote the original Red Dawn. The game also started with the ChiComs as the bad guys but changed them to the Norks for pretty much the same reason. So they may as well name this remake Homefront: The Movie.

Yes, the ChiComs were our only friends in the first Red Dawn. The remanke however, was to use the Chinese because the Soviets Russians are our bestest buds now.

cobrakai99 on March 16, 2011 at 8:39 PM

WTF … I’m missing something here …

The CHINESE WERE NOT the villains in RED DAWN …

The villains were the Soviets – and their Cuban allies – that’s who invaded the US.

The Chinese were ON OUR SIDE in that movie.

HondaV65 on March 16, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Exactly, in fact in the movie we were told that the Soviets nuked the Chinese and killed off about 600m of them.

slickwillie2001 on March 16, 2011 at 7:52 PM

I don’t get it either. Sitting around the campfire, one of the kids asks Powers Booth if the Chinese are still our allies.

hawkdriver on March 16, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Guess they are trying to be contemporary.

There is no Soviet Union, so they needed a current plausible villain.

mockmook on March 16, 2011 at 8:53 PM

I hope they shelve the movie all together!..My fear is that they will screw up a classic!..:(

Dire Straits on March 16, 2011 at 9:43 PM

This could have just a tad bit to do with it:

Hainan Airlines, China’s fourth-largest carrier, is still interested in buying a stake in US film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) after a failed bid last year, a source familiar with the matter said.
http://cnbusinessnews.com/hainan-airlines-still-keen-to-buy-mgm-stake/

mrt721 on March 16, 2011 at 9:45 PM

All they needed to do was was add an introduction to the beginning.

In an alternate timeline, where Mao was murdered by socialist extremists…

Slowburn on March 16, 2011 at 10:00 PM

NOOOOO!

nootch on March 16, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Huh. When I saw it the bad guys were Cuban and Nicaraguan. That was during the Reagan administration when we were supporting the Contras.

schmuck281 on March 16, 2011 at 11:16 PM

China was the only one even close to plausible. Oh well.

scotash on March 17, 2011 at 1:00 AM

why not just recut the ending for foreign distribution to show China winning?

How do we know that isn’t the ending they already shot?

BDavis on March 17, 2011 at 1:11 AM

There’s a video game with this premise, Homefront. The back story is that the NORKs blow an EMP over the US and crash the infrastructure. Which is a technology they’ve been working on, oh by the way.

TABoLK on March 17, 2011 at 2:51 AM

It doesn’t matter. I quit watching the tripe coming out of Hollywood years ago. Why support leftist ideologues?

zoyclem on March 17, 2011 at 6:57 AM

WTF … I’m missing something here …

The CHINESE WERE NOT the villains in RED DAWN …

The villains were the Soviets – and their Cuban allies – that’s who invaded the US.

The Chinese were ON OUR SIDE in that movie.

HondaV65 on March 16, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Exactly, in fact in the movie we were told that the Soviets nuked the Chinese and killed off about 600m of them.

slickwillie2001 on March 16, 2011 at 7:52 PM

THANK YOU! It’s one of my favorite movies. Hollywood is such a piece of sh!t. Do you all REALLY believe that every single idea for a movie is already taken or is it that they are bloated, lazy, union members who don’t NEED to exhibit any creativity and therefor just recycle old movies?
STOP SUPPORTING LAZY LOSERS BY GOING TO MOVIES.

NTWR on March 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM

WTF … I’m missing something here …

The CHINESE WERE NOT the villains in RED DAWN …

The villains were the Soviets – and their Cuban allies – that’s who invaded the US.

The Chinese were ON OUR SIDE in that movie.

HondaV65 on March 16, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Exactly, in fact in the movie we were told that the Soviets nuked the Chinese and killed off about 600m of them.

slickwillie2001 on March 16, 2011 at 7:52 PM
—–

READ.

THE.

ARTICLE.

IT.

IS.

A.

REMAKE.

THEY.

CHANGED.

THE.

SCRIPT.

DUH.

Dave Rywall on March 17, 2011 at 1:34 PM

THANK YOU! It’s one of my favorite movies. Hollywood is such a piece of sh!t. Do you all REALLY believe that every single idea for a movie is already taken or is it that they are bloated, lazy, union members who don’t NEED to exhibit any creativity and therefor just recycle old movies?
STOP SUPPORTING LAZY LOSERS BY GOING TO MOVIES.

NTWR on March 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM
——–

Your ignorance of how/why movies are written/made is breathtaking.

Dave Rywall on March 17, 2011 at 1:36 PM

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