‘Red Dawn’ Villains Switched from China to North Korea

Published 4 years ago by

red dawn logo tagline Red Dawn Villains Switched from China to North Korea
MGM’s upcoming remake of Red Dawn was supposed to hit theaters in 2010, but the studio’s well-documented bankruptcy saga effectively put all of the projects they had in the pipeline on hold.

Since its recent restructuring, MGM has pushed high-profile projects like The Hobbit, Bond 23, and the RoboCop reboot back into development – but there’s been no official confirmation of when films that were completed before the company filed for Chapter 11 will be released.

Red Dawn will likely hit theaters at some point this year, but the film (which wrapped production in 2009) has one more significant alteration to undergo before it will be ready to hit theaters. The original 1984 film featured a group of  small-town teenagers in America’s heartland taking a stand against Soviet invaders – but with the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, producers initially decided that Chinese assailants would be more appropriate for the remake.

According to the LA Times, the filmmakers have decided to change the villains yet again. Instead of the Chinese,  North Korean soldiers will now invade the U.S. in the Red Dawn remake. The switch was made in an effort to give the film greater box office appeal in China – which has become one of the most profitable markets for American movies.

Around the time MGM first delayed the release of Red Dawn, a Chinese newspaper called the Global Times expressed concerns that the film would demonize their state and its citizens (thanks in part to certain leaked images from the set). Evidently, this may have been a factor in scaring off potential distributors who were apprehensive about what effect their involvement with the film would have on future dealings with China.

So without any official complaints from the Chinese government, MGM will spend $1 million to construct a new opening sequence, re-edit several scenes, and digitally change Chinese symbols into Korean. It may sound somewhat ridiculous, but the fact of the matter is that the studio really had no alternative. If the film fails to secure distribution, it could wind up going straight to video – or being permanently shelved.

red dawn 2010 cast photo Red Dawn Villains Switched from China to North Korea

The cast of the 'Red Dawn' remake

Interestingly, the video game Homefront (which was written by John Milius, the screenwriter of the original Red Dawn) recently underwent a similar change – THQ decided to swap out the game’s Chinese invaders for North Korean forces instead.

Even though China currently only permits around 20 non-Chinese films to be released there each year, they’re still the fifth largest box office market outside of the United States. Had Red Dawn opened in its original incarnation, many believe that a backlash would have been inevitable and that the film’s premise was flawed and problematic from the start.

Producer Tripp Vinson believes that the changes will make the Red Dawn remake “smarter and more dangerous”, but I have to admit that the idea of North Korea invading the U.S. seems a bit more farfetched to me. However, this is obviously a business decision above all else and it sounds like without these alterations, Red Dawn might never see the light of day.

Source: LA Times.

TAGS: Red dawn
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  1. Yes, you should have put some native americans in it! But no, the Wolverines had it coming. Sorry, charlie sheens role will flop and Patrick Swaze’s role will flop.

  2. I was going to see the movie but since MGM sold out to China I will not. Hopefully MGM will have to depend on China alone for its box office take.

    • HA HA HA oh why so bitter? China alone is more than enough to help them turn a profit. Luckily for them however, the rest of america isn’t as narrow minded as you and will probably watch it regardless.

      • I won’t watch it either. China is the elephant in the room. They are our military and political rival of the 21st century yet no one wants to admit it. China doesn’t want us to talk about it even in a movie because they want us to continue to buy their goods. There’s nothing narrow minded about it and you shouldn’t resort to name calling. This movie had zero chance of being one of the 20 movies released in China. Do you think they want to show a small band of Americans being able to defend against any communist government. What really happened was someone representing China told MGM that they couldn’t make a movie with Chinese villains EVER or they would never let MGM release a movie in China. This is extortion. The person above wasn’t being close minded they were seeing it for what it was and deciding not to support MGMs decision. China continues to release Chinese movies with anti western propaganda. We shouldn’t support MGM allowing China to dictate to American movie producers what our artists produce. Please consider others views before criticizing them.

        • f*** china

  3. MGM sells out to China, as a result red dawn remake becomes a PC joke of
    of a film. If MGM has to redo this film, they should spend about another 5 to 10 million to shoot scenes with Russian invaders having a more prominent role. It would have to be the Russians who help the north koreans get to the US mainland. Otherwise this film will make no sense at all. China is a credible enemy, north korea is not. this film will be one gigantic turd at the boxoffice as a result of these idiotic changes. MGM has only themselves to blame.


    • Why should Russia help North Korea??
      Why are Russians always the evil and the bad guys in everything?!!?

  4. What is the big surprise with this…we in the US should remember
    that we work for China now. They are our Big Brother, they know best.

  5. Why are we remaking this movie in the first place? When the original was made there was a pervasive mood in the country that war with the soviets wasn’t just a possibility but an inevitability. Does ANYONE think China would bother to invade us? China is not the enemy that the USSR was in the 80’s. The war between China and the U.S. is economic and technological.

    The rash of Hollywood remakes is absolutely pathetic. MGM’s decision to re-shoot parts of this movie and make the antagonists into North Korea is nothing compared to the absolutely terrible decision to do this remake in the first place. Whoever thinks this movie “needed” to be remade is absolutely delusional and should be hospitalized to keep the movie going public safe.

  6. China invading the USA? Plausible.

    North Korea invading the USA? A joke.

    Gayest decision ever.

  7. One website mentioned that all the references in the movie that mention China would not be able to be changed, and that they(China?) would still be part of the coalition that invades the US. So China is still in this just toned down a bit?? Tripp Vinson needs to clarify this matter to the fans of this film. If China is still in this film(even though it is to a lesser degree) this film may, I stress may have a chance at the boxoffice.
    With China still involved the film has some credibility. So the coaltion would be China,north korea and Russia. Just some scenes changed up where the north koreans get more screen time rather than the Chinese..I believe the Russians in the film are part of special forces units(commandos)

  8. Seth the way things are headed you won’t have to watch china invading in a theater….



  9. Has any American ever stopped to actually, question this movie. If you ask me with American concentration camps Chemtrails. No one really believes this could & will happen we want to know who won the game the latest singer & don’t care about the DEPOPULATION agenda that’s going on!

  10. @Michael,

    I’m all over that stuff dude.

  11. Wow… life imitates art I guess.

    China really is taking over the US! The film’s original plot line was hitting a little too close to home. I guess that’s the irony of this script change.

    Crazy how the Chinese government can now dictate terms in Hollywood.

  12. Hopefully the original version will be leaked by some patriotic real American and go viral across the net.

    I wont be paying to see the altered version. I will wait until I can see it for free. Hopefully people will stay away in droves from theaters sending to the Free Movie section on local cable systems.

    It has to be better than Comcasts newest free movie “Human Centipede”. Ack!!!!

  13. I’m tired of movies that are just plain stupid. I’m sorry, but North Korea invading the US just doesn’t work for me. I found the invasion scenario the most compelling part. Now it is just another action flick. At best, I could see NK playing a minor role like the Cubans did for the Russians in RD (1984). But that would still mean China being the main force even if the Wolverines shoot up North Koreans. I’m now very doubtful that I will see this in the theater. I don’t see whey they couldn’t just make a different version for China and leave the US one alone. That is why I feel political correctness was still a big issue.

  14. The only way this movie can go viral is to release the Chinese version after it hits the theaters.

    This was the distribution deals are done with the “sanctioned version” and the “Real” version creates the buzz.

    Once it goes to disk they can do a “sanctioned version” then wait 6 months and do a “directors cut” that is the “real” version and make total bank.

    • should be “leak” the Chinese version to torrent.

  15. Glad to see everyone’s index finger off the trigger in the promo shot. It’s far too rare that you see decent gun safety in movies.

  16. What do you expect Hollywood to do? China owns the US we owe them trillions.

    • Yes, we owe them trillions. That is because we know what we’re doing. If you owe someone a million dollars, you have a problem, if you owe someone trillions of dollars, they have a problem.

  17. The original ” Red dawn ” was stupid enough. Now this? The cold war still exist during the 80’s. That’s why people would watch it. Now it’s over.
    Move on. This kind of movie will not work today. The North Korean still hated the Japanese for WWII, and to unification with the south. They have no beef with anyone. China is one our biggest economical allies. Beside, there’s nobody in this world be stupid, or brave enough to invade Newark, Camden, South Central, St. Louis, Atlanta, etc.

  18. You guys are all ridiculous. Haha Who gives a sh** about it being China or North Korea?! It was an awesome movie and I guaranteed you all watched it and love it too. Suck it, don’t be lame losers. The movie was great.

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  24. Late to the party here but surely the obvious point of this was not about Chinese selling stuff to the US, but US studios wanting to sell stuff in China. Is it really surprising that Chinese audiences don’t want to watch films in which the Chinese are the main villain?