Red Dawn: Remaking a Remake

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The remake of the hit 1984 film “Red Dawn” has been remade. It seems Hollywood was worried about choosing a politically incorrect—and financially risky—bad guy.

The bad guys in the original were Soviet and Cuban paratroopers invading a weakened, hollowed-out America. In the original “Red Dawn”, the invading army’s advance into the heart of America is stymied by a guerrilla force made up largely of teenagers hiding out in the wooded mountain areas of Colorado. They call themselves “The Wolverines” after their high school mascot. Most of the Wolverines are killed but not before they repulse and reverse the communist invaders—and rescue America.

The updated version of the film, which was ready for distribution in 2010, substituted Chinese troops for the Soviets. But that worried MGM execs, who didn’t want to jeopardize future movie deals in China’s massive market. So MGM ordered the film to be radically redone in post-production, taking what The Los Angeles Times calls “the highly unusual” and “extraordinary step of digitally altering a film to excise bad guys from the communist nation lest the leadership in Beijing be offended.”

The result, according to published reports, is that most references to China have been replaced with North Korea. The MGM self-censors have gone so far as “digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols.” According to The Times, “There’s no known precedent for changing the nationality of an entire group of characters.”

All of this happened without Beijing “uttering a word of official protest,” according to The Times, which notes that we may be witnessing the beginning of a trend. The video game “Homefront” originally was set around a Chinese invasion of the United States, but “for business reasons, publisher THQ changed the occupying forces to North Korea.”

“Potential 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,” The Times reports. MGM hopes to cash in on the Chinese market with future films in the James Bond and Hobbit franchises, according to The Times.

There’s more at work here, however, than the studio’s understandable desire to maximize profits. Artistic freedom and artistic integrity are also at stake—or perhaps better said, were at stake. Moreover, it all has the whiff of a kind of appeasement.

Think about the perverse irony here: The People’s Republic of China—the land where government censors control the Internet, government agents write the news, government bureaus approve religious activity, government decrees determine how many children a family can have—gets an American media conglomerate to rewrite, revise and rework a piece of fiction so as not to cause offense. The whole episode must make the PRC’s rulers laugh—and their subjects wonder why Americans don’t treasure the First Amendment.

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  • QuantumSam

    I guess I won't see the remade remake. I might jave to reconsider seeing any MGM film. I hope the director has some integrity and denounces the establishment lihe Terry Gilliam did with his film "Brazil."

  • "gunner"

    well…, that saves me a few bucks, some time and hard drive space. i enjoyed the original "red dawn" but i won't bother paying to see this rehash, or even downloading it for free. there's very little coming out of the movie industry these days other than the "lord of the rings" trilogy, the "narnia" films and "harry potter". most of the rest are junk, with rare exceptions.

    • Questions

      How about "Hanna?" The Coens' remake of "True Grit?"

  • zsqpwxxeh

    That's all right, MGM, even though they didn't issue any formal statement rest assured that your future overlords are pleased with you. For now.

  • http://www.okcteaparty.org Dan

    And I guess the guerilla band of teenagers this time around will include: A Black, a Hispanic, an Asian (???), a Gay, a Lesbian, a Transgender, a Transvestite, a Disabled person, a teenager with ADD, …… And the band leader will be a girl as well as the downed pilot being a woman pilot. Finally, the NPRK army invades because they need, er, uh, food!

    • zsqpwxxeh

      Uh, excuse me? No Muslims? Someone needs to be a little more INCLUSIVE around here.

  • tanstaafl

    China holds our debt. Need one say more?

    • Lady Lazerus

      It's funny how our stinking elected officials decided FOR US (without our approval or permission) to borrow astronomical amounts of money from our enemies. Also, I want to know how come Joe American and his family OWES this money back when Joe America NEVER SAW THE MONEY or SPENT it either!!! I think the jerks who borrowed the monies and spent the monies should be the ones who PAY IT ALL BACK. By the way…WHERE did all that money go?? Sure didn't go to the School Systems or the Teachers or the Senior Citizens who have been waiting 3 years for an increase on their Social Security ( which is almost broke they say because "they" robbed Peter to pay Paul. Why are those who STEAL from the American People not charged with robbery and made accountable? Why don't the American people have the right to have the Fed Audited to see where their money really goes? They expect US to pay our taxes and comply with the laws ; yet "they" seem to be above it.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Farcial movies aside, our greatest danger is coming out of DC and the
    collusion of the Obama administration with the Muslim Brotherhood and
    Leftist, Communist powers. The invasion is already long ago underway,
    our borders and airways are sieves of festivity for our enemies. Our last
    real internal violent struggle was North vs South, our ongoing struggle
    is right vs left, good vs evil and progressing in a vortex of contradictions.
    William

  • Raymond in DC

    With Islamic military training camps already present in the US and Hizbullah smuggling some of their own across the Mexican border, it's more likely the next violent invasion will be of the "Green" and not the "Red" variety. But the chances of a "Green Dawn" today are somewhere between slim to none.

    Just think back to the "24" TV series where, even if some terrorists were of the Arab or Muslim variety, there was always some "white guy" – businessman, Balkan, etc. – driving the conspiracy. Even the otherwise wonderful "Castle" series this season dealt with a planned dirty bomb attack on New York City. The culprits were not the Arabs (shown to be "framed") but well meaning but frustrated US Special Forces guys! What a disgrace. Now that Seal Team Six got Bin Laden, I'll bet they don't rerun that episode!

    • Cliffystones

      That episode was annoying to me as well, though not surprising. The “bad guy” these days ALWAYS has to be a white male. Those home burglar alarm commercials crack me up. Always a Honky doing the dirty deed. But have just ONE where the criminal is ethnic, boy would that be a laugh!

  • Arius

    Islam and the Chinese, both are sacred in the bowing and scraping mentality of the West.

  • Ghostwriter

    It's a shame they are substituting North Koreans for the Chinese. If I were writing the script,I would've had a couple of Chinese immigrants and their American-born child among the freedom fighters. Their motivation:they'd seen people they cared about murdered like their parents and other members of their families during the Cultural Revolution when they were children and they don't want a repeat of that in America. For years afterward they saw the ruthlessness of the Chinese government snuff out any hint of opposition to their rule and that was why they came to America.
    But,if I wrote that sort of script,it's unclear if it would ever have been made in the first place.

  • generalissimo

    the people vs Larry Flint is NOT from Oliver Stone; It's from Milos Forman.

  • Foolster41

    Why are we even doing business with repulsive, regressive communist china?

  • USMCSniper

    Remember Tom Clancy's book "The Sum of All Fears" and then the movie. The choice of the 'bad guys' being NAZI's (in Russia no less) rather than Communists. And of course, it was an Israeli nuke that the inept Israelis lost and couldn't find. Leftists distort reality so much they believe their own bullsh*&t.

    • http://www.johansens.us jay

      I wonder if Tom Clancy ever agreed to that or if they could make such a change without his authorization. Yes, Nazis are such a threat to the world today. Next movie: The Byzantine Empire Strikes Back!

      • Cliffystones

        Make it the French and we’ll have a hit comedy!

  • Peter

    With Hollyweird putting blackface Characters in place of Whites (Thor, The Lightning Theif, etc) I am surprised the Chinese were not “blackened” to include say, Will Smith as a Chinese Major. That way we could be so “Inclusive” and other liberal buzzwords.

  • Armando

    Why look for an outside enemy when we have enough islamofascists right here in the USA as a fifth column?

  • Stephen_Brady

    I think I've got some NKs in the backyard. Either that, or they're moles …

  • http://www.johansens.us Jay

    Hey, we should be grateful for the iota of realism. I would have expected Hollywood to make it a a terrorist uprising by right-wing Christians.

  • DrSique

    I can only hope, at the end of this film, China pays off North Korea to leave us alone. Then we can owe them a debt of gratitude, as well as a trillion dollars. "We The People" need to start making Hollywood pay a price in U.S. dollars for making propaganda films. Just don't see them, buy them, etc…. North Korea invades America………………pppllleeeaaassseeee!!!!!

  • David Parker

    Red Dawn was a good movie with the exception that God determines the outcome. There are enough of we the people who realize the real source of our power who can fight as courageously as the kids were portrayed to have done- it is we the people, with the notion that no man can have any legitimate rule over any other man, that bureaucrats, elected or otherwise are NOT "leaders" (as though we are a flock of sheep to be fed and managed.)

    Real leaders lead, they are out front with shovels or guns as the situation demands, not like the pitiful cowering media-created "leaders", such as Obama or Barry Sotoro or whatever its name really is, hiding behind Secret Service because he knows that we the people do not like the plans he has for our further enslavement and, if he was in our place, he himself has no scruples against murder to get his way.

    Labels deceive. Islamofascists? Nazis? Communists? Socialists? Right and Left? Conservative and Liberal? Newspeak has been with us for a long two centuries, it is the tool of satanic deceivers. I don't even like the word government because it carries within the idea of imposing arbitrary force and is thus hostile to the notion of freedom. But, let's attempt to define some terms we can use to describe reality: No government means freedom from the arbitrary imposition of force.Total government means no freedom, totally subject to the imposition of force for any pretext including improper thoughts. Good means holding human life as sacred because we are created by God who created the universe and He said that life is so sacred that anyone who murders must forfeit his own life. Evil means worshipping idols, man-made counterfeit gods such as government, "Allah" (an invention of the murdering Mohammed to deceive the gullible into serving him) , a deified Buddha (a mere man having control over nothing, not even his own body) or the satanic madness of Joseph Smith, the mindlessness of Mary Baker Eddy, the crass commercialism of L. Ron Hubbard, et al, the scripturally bankrupt idolatrous Roman Church, Socialists-Marxists, Lenists, communists, Nazis (national socialist party) fascists, all work to make government into their god.
    Government–All living, or attempting to live, off the labors of others, either by deceit or force.

  • Eddo

    Guaranteed to be a flop!

    The efforts of Hollywood to be political correct are laughable!

  • randydutton

    Invasion from Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Mexico would be more realistic than N. Korea. Oh wait, we're already being invaded by Mexico. Never mind.

    The real takeover has been from Progressives.

  • randydutton

    Realize that a HEMP (high altitude electro-magnetic pulse) attack would likely precede any real invasion. That would render most of our electronics and electrical grid useless.

  • Mark

    Judging from the comments on this page, Red Dawn is a perfect movie for a large swarth of Americans: hateful, isolationist, insecure, immature and utterly unaware of any world outside of the 50 states.

    • novaflo

      so your : loving, open-bordered,secure,mature and utterly aware of the world???..so -where are you from ?

  • Mark

    Appologies, I was unaware that this website is meant as a meeting place for the above mentioned swarthy of people. I withdraw my objections.

  • Thatotherguy

    The Chinese Government is evil and Communism is evil. We all know this. This change was most likely for money and not "political correctness", but what would China do? Really? It's a movie and if it never changed it would have been fun to see. This is just stupid.

  • Paul Y

    It is called moral responsibility. Chinese nationalism is high. Why fan that flame with xenophobic depictions of China? It's about avoiding the possibility of actual war — which no one needs or wants, except nutcases and war-mongers and war profiteers — rather than mere censorship.

  • Tanner

    I've played the video game Homefront and watched the remake of Red Dawn. I thought that they were both good. I actually thought that the remake of Red Dawn had more improvements from the older version, but I still like the older version as well. However, I do notice some political correctness in the remake. What ever happened to the Communist symbols that obviously represent North Korea? I don't think I saw any of them in the film. What ever happened to the CPUSA, CCDS, DSA, and all the other Socialist/Communist groups in the US? I would have made them as collaborators of the North Korean forces if I were to remake Red Dawn.