Film studio MGM have revealed their plans to alter their new action film remake Red Dawn, with a slight plot change to avoid negative references to China, a country which is in the international version the main antagonist of the story.
Under a move to ‘avoid antagonising Beijing’, MGM (also known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) have changed the plot of the film, which to most markets would have seen a Chinese invasion of America, but will now instead show one led by North Koreans in the version that will air around the world and in particular the Asian nation, considered to be too big of a market to lose by portraying them as villains in such a large capacity.
This will mean that the movie’s ‘invading forces’ will now be represented by North Korean flags and state symbols as opposed to Chinese ones, while any version of the film shown in North Korea (which is fairly unlikely despite the country’s recent slow recovery from being a ‘secretive state’), would naturally revert back to the original-planned version if ever released.
The changes are also being made in particular due to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s personal love of action and war movies, with the film potentially a source of promising relations as long as he has no reason to be angry about it.
Dan Mintz, a representative of Chinese market redistribution company DMG Entertainment, said of the problems that may have occurred should the film go out in China in its non-edited form: “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.”
Red Dawn, which was released in America on 21 November (Wednesday), features Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers), Josh Peck (Drake & Josh), and Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) as part of a group of high school students who form a resistance against the invading forces, with the plot being a modernised adaptation of the 1984 blockbuster of the same name (which starred Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen), which saw the Soviet Union as the invasion being fought against.
This time around, though, it looks as though the ‘target’ being fought against in a more international community is the country that is least likely to hear about it, but if the film-makers really wanted to cause ‘minimal offence’ to anyone of this era, perhaps they could bring back the Soviet Union for a more fictional remake or a ‘period’ feature…