That’s what the folks over at MGM are thinking now, after finally deciding to spend a fortune to convert all the Chinese villains, flags and symbols to Korean for their upcoming remake of Red Dawn out of fear of Chinese retaliation. Financial retaliation, at any rate. The debut directorial effort from stunt coordinator Dan Bradley (Spider-Man 3, The Bourne Ultimatum), about a group of American teenagers engaging in guerilla warfare after China invades American soil, finished filming in 2009 and has languished in post-development hell ever since. It might be stuck there forever at this rate, since distributors are apparently terrified to touch the film for fear of alienating the lucrative Chinese market.
So now all the dialogue is going to be changed to refer to the Chinese actors as Koreans? Yeah… Telling the Chinese that all Asian people look alike to you. That’ll fix everything. The Los Angeles Times had the story.
In all fairness, China’s tight leash on foreign movie releases – incidentally, they only allow about 20 theatrical movie releases from abroad every year – has led to censorship problems before, with filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Brad Pitt still unable to enter China without fear of arrest after their movies Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet were critical of the country’s politics. The irony is that China didn’t even make a stink about this one. Maybe they write remakes off completely, just the like the rest of us.
Red Dawn may never see the light of day at this point, even if the changes do go into effect. We imagine that if Thor becomes the smash hit everyone expects it to be, then the surge of interest in Chris Hemsworth – who also stars in Red Dawn – could make the remake just palatable enough to slip out onto DVD at some point.
Crave Online will return with more Red Dawn news if we ever wash the bad taste out of our mouths.