A major change will be made to the upcoming, already-shot remake of Red Dawn: It's villains! In a move that could be considered groundbreaking (or borderline racist) the post-production team will edit and digitally alter the film to change its original invading forces from the Red Chinese Army to the North Koreans! (And maybe make them shoot first in the Cantina?)
The move comes in the aftermath of massive backlash from the state-run Chinese press, which have taken offense to the film as an attempt to "demonize" their country. Also, fearing more backlash from ethnic Chinese Americans, the move was clearly designed to solidify the film's antagonistic forces with a more universally-despised regime. Although it was done in the spirit of bowing to political pressure, the decision was a paradoxically bold move. Will it pan-out for this delay-plagued, political hot potato of a remake?
According to Mike Vollman, MGM's Executive Vice President of Worldwide 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." Adding: "We want to ensure the most people possible are able to experience it."
The digital alterations will essentially void all imagery of Chinese flags and anything else that would implicate the film's invading forces with an association with the Chinese military. Additionally, the film's long-in-the-making hype campaign, which consisted of mock-up posters parodying communist Chinese propaganda are now invalidated. While post-production alterations are hardly a new concept, to completely change a film's villains, altering the entire context of the film itself is an unprecedented move. (Outside of comedy, anyway.)
Already linked to the drama surrounding the financial collapse of MGM Studio, and having been on the chopping block for scrapping, Red Dawn has had quite a rough road even before the political backlash occurred. With still no release date locked-in, at best, the film could hit theaters this Fall, a full year after it was initially set for release. So, jeopardizing potential business relationships with the Chinese superpower (the world's fifth biggest box-office market) for a film that's low on the priority scale is certainly not an unreasonable fear for a movie studio. The fact that they've decided to go through all this trouble, rather than send the movie packing was essentially a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for the film.
By the time this film (which was shot about two years ago,) hits theaters, it could go into its release with two potentially bankable stars in new Thor Chris Hemsworth and TV's new Wonder Woman Adrianne Palicki. It will be interesting to see if the changes will affect the appeal of the fun retro-80's jingoism that the film originally intended to bring.
What do you think of this move? Did MGM cave to political correctness? Or is this a smart business move designed to salvage the film?
Source: LA Times