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MGM changing Red Dawn villains so as not to offend Chinese box office

Mar. 16, 2011by: Mike Sampson

The remake of RED DAWN has been sitting on a shelf at MGM for a while as that studio figured out how to crawl out of bankruptcy. Now two years after the production started filming, MGM is revisiting the film to make some controversial changes.

After viewing the film, MGM executives felt that the film's villains, Chinese aggressors, could possibly damage both this film and future film's box office receipts in a market that is very important to international box office. So what did they decide to do? They're digitally retouching the film to make the villains instead come from North Korea by editing flags and redubbing dialogue. And why is insulting one Asian country better than insulting another Asian country? Because North Korea doesn't give Hollywood any money!

There is often much in the way of film censorship in China and although there were no formal protests, MGM was worried that Chinese leaders would block the film from ever airing in their country and possibly blocking future films from the studio. China is the fifth-biggest box-office market with over $1.5 billion in 2010 and all studios want a big part of that. But none have gone this far to kowtow to potential political concerns by editing a film.

The issue seemed to gain heat when MGM started trying to shop the film to other studios in hopes of getting some quick cash. No buyers were interested because of the potential for a controversy.

One expert weighed in saying that though US censorship is never the answer, the film was likely to insult Chinese, summing up by saying pretty much what we're all thinking: "The film itself was not a smart move."

Source: LA Times

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3:20AM on 05/16/2011
and why is it that "Chinese" are the villains to begin with?
and why is it that "Chinese" are the villains to begin with?
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3:31AM on 03/17/2011
This movie is gonna suck based solely on the original being amazing. Fuck diplomacy
This movie is gonna suck based solely on the original being amazing. Fuck diplomacy
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2:09AM on 03/17/2011
But the North Koreans don't have the capabilities to wage war on American soil :/
But the North Koreans don't have the capabilities to wage war on American soil :/
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11:54PM on 03/16/2011

WoW

Well in case I ever wanted to know what a sellout looks like, we got one staring us in the face. What a gaggle of money hors.
Well in case I ever wanted to know what a sellout looks like, we got one staring us in the face. What a gaggle of money hors.
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10:01PM on 03/16/2011
Verdict=A Cinematic suicide..might as well make it straight to video.
Verdict=A Cinematic suicide..might as well make it straight to video.
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9:44PM on 03/16/2011
The ONLY believable North Korean involvement in any plot scenario,would be as basically henchman/allies attached to Chinese forces.Like the original film,the Soviets,brought along Cuban and Nicaraguan troops,under the authority of Soviet Generals.
The ONLY believable North Korean involvement in any plot scenario,would be as basically henchman/allies attached to Chinese forces.Like the original film,the Soviets,brought along Cuban and Nicaraguan troops,under the authority of Soviet Generals.
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9:36PM on 03/16/2011
LOL! are the "Suits" actually naive enough to think China will be game to let their populace see this, now that North Korea (btw,a 3rd world economy) is the point of focus? Never happen,that's a Chinese ally of the highest order. The reworked plot makes no logical sense nor believable by any stretch given the facts about North Korea's economy,population and military strength.
LOL! are the "Suits" actually naive enough to think China will be game to let their populace see this, now that North Korea (btw,a 3rd world economy) is the point of focus? Never happen,that's a Chinese ally of the highest order. The reworked plot makes no logical sense nor believable by any stretch given the facts about North Korea's economy,population and military strength.
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9:29PM on 03/16/2011
what...the...fuck? They just completely destroyed any reason to possibly see this movie. This will totally destroy the reasoning of an invasion into US territory because they have essentially changed the "villain" from a real credible threat of a country that could both economically and militarily destroy us with their population of 1,331,000,000 people to a country full of starving people who number at about 24,000,000. Fucking retards! Why not go ahead and just change the villain to
what...the...fuck? They just completely destroyed any reason to possibly see this movie. This will totally destroy the reasoning of an invasion into US territory because they have essentially changed the "villain" from a real credible threat of a country that could both economically and militarily destroy us with their population of 1,331,000,000 people to a country full of starving people who number at about 24,000,000. Fucking retards! Why not go ahead and just change the villain to Monaco for fucks sake. Christ, I hate Hollywood most of the time.
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9:38PM on 03/16/2011
I couldn't agree more! fly's in the face of reality and simple logic.
I couldn't agree more! fly's in the face of reality and simple logic.
+7
7:46PM on 03/16/2011
Giving this film an artificial remodeling just to stave off some criticism and protest from a major nation is going to kill this film. They might as well just go and reshoot any of the scenes involving the Chinese. It's also very clear that the Chinese will be very generic, stereotypical Asian aggressors in the film, as they obviously have no intention of reshooting anything involving the Chinese.

This has a bad smell all over it and I think they just killed whatever made this film look
Giving this film an artificial remodeling just to stave off some criticism and protest from a major nation is going to kill this film. They might as well just go and reshoot any of the scenes involving the Chinese. It's also very clear that the Chinese will be very generic, stereotypical Asian aggressors in the film, as they obviously have no intention of reshooting anything involving the Chinese.

This has a bad smell all over it and I think they just killed whatever made this film look desirable. If you're going to go with a subject as controversial as this, go 100% or go home. Don't try to appease everyone over lame reasons. Besides, I think MGM forgot that China is a pseudo-ally of N. Korea, so how is this going to help really?
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7:02PM on 03/16/2011
Hahahahaha. They better shot a whole new movie.
Hahahahaha. They better shot a whole new movie.
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6:53PM on 03/16/2011

Nice

Two wrongs don't make a right, but they sure do make bad movies. North Korea can't even FEED their troops, let alone get them to the West Coast. But hey, they took what was already an idiotic idea and gave it RETARD STRENGTH! Is Mystery Science Theater still around? Speaking of reboots, it might be time...
Two wrongs don't make a right, but they sure do make bad movies. North Korea can't even FEED their troops, let alone get them to the West Coast. But hey, they took what was already an idiotic idea and gave it RETARD STRENGTH! Is Mystery Science Theater still around? Speaking of reboots, it might be time...
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9:42PM on 03/16/2011
Exactly! totally unrealistic now.
Exactly! totally unrealistic now.
+16
6:51PM on 03/16/2011

Dear viewing public,

We think you are idiots.

Love,
MGM
We think you are idiots.

Love,
MGM
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9:51PM on 03/16/2011
It is somewhat of an insult,the rework plot makes no logical sense.Totally unrealistic.
It is somewhat of an insult,the rework plot makes no logical sense.Totally unrealistic.
6:26PM on 03/16/2011
Surely the damage has already been done, I'm pretty sure the Chinese got wind of this a while ago.
Surely the damage has already been done, I'm pretty sure the Chinese got wind of this a while ago.
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10:05PM on 03/16/2011
Right, the Studio must be pretty naive to think changing the "villain" to the North Koreans, (China's main Ally) will in turn,cause China to throw open theater doors for this rework. Not gonna happen.
Right, the Studio must be pretty naive to think changing the "villain" to the North Koreans, (China's main Ally) will in turn,cause China to throw open theater doors for this rework. Not gonna happen.
+8
5:59PM on 03/16/2011

i agree with HEL105

This is just going to look like a Homefront tie in now.
Grow a pair MGM.
This is just going to look like a Homefront tie in now.
Grow a pair MGM.
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+8
5:14PM on 03/16/2011
So it's basically Homefront now?
So it's basically Homefront now?
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+10
5:10PM on 03/16/2011

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight....

Because North Korea having the capability to invade America is so much more likely a scenario than China having the capability to invade America.

Hollywood is dead.
Because North Korea having the capability to invade America is so much more likely a scenario than China having the capability to invade America.

Hollywood is dead.
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4:01PM on 03/16/2011
They should make the enemy a hot bi-racial actress and just rename this Rae Dawn Chong.
They should make the enemy a hot bi-racial actress and just rename this Rae Dawn Chong.
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3:56PM on 03/16/2011

that kind of decision...

is why MGM went bankrupt. Wow! Did anyone either see the original or read the script before they started shooting?!?
is why MGM went bankrupt. Wow! Did anyone either see the original or read the script before they started shooting?!?
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+8
3:23PM on 03/16/2011
Disgraceful.
It's a lot like how killing a person on film is generally considered a bad thing, unless they are Nazi's, then you can kill em by the truck load, literaly, right Spielberg?
Obviously this is not about the movie, but the money. China is a ligitimate threat, North Korea is just a way to say 'china' without actualy saying it. If I was china I'd be offended!
Disgraceful.
It's a lot like how killing a person on film is generally considered a bad thing, unless they are Nazi's, then you can kill em by the truck load, literaly, right Spielberg?
Obviously this is not about the movie, but the money. China is a ligitimate threat, North Korea is just a way to say 'china' without actualy saying it. If I was china I'd be offended!
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2:54PM on 03/16/2011
so will they digitally alter the Chinese soldiers faces so they look North Korean?...
so will they digitally alter the Chinese soldiers faces so they look North Korean?...
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2:47PM on 03/16/2011

I don't give a fuck about the movie...

...but that's probably good (or at least decent) trouble-shooting, but why didn't they think of that sooner? The only people who care about North Korea are South Koreans, because they hope someday to be one again. Chinese, on the other hand, are not smart business partners to completely demonize. So why are they just changing this now?
...but that's probably good (or at least decent) trouble-shooting, but why didn't they think of that sooner? The only people who care about North Korea are South Koreans, because they hope someday to be one again. Chinese, on the other hand, are not smart business partners to completely demonize. So why are they just changing this now?
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-4
2:41PM on 03/16/2011

Who cares?

The Aussies already made a Red Dawn-Remake, "Tomorrow, when the war began" and it was pretty good. Therefore I dont really care for this one (until they give Charlie Sheen a cameo)!
The Aussies already made a Red Dawn-Remake, "Tomorrow, when the war began" and it was pretty good. Therefore I dont really care for this one (until they give Charlie Sheen a cameo)!
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+5
2:38PM on 03/16/2011
@ BHak88 That I would like to see: a something - gone - wrong - US invading China. :)

This is stupid, shows that China of today do have influence. North Korea invading the US is as likely as Iceland or Portugal invading the US, they don't have the manpower or the resources to come even close. Not even China remotely do.
@ BHak88 That I would like to see: a something - gone - wrong - US invading China. :)

This is stupid, shows that China of today do have influence. North Korea invading the US is as likely as Iceland or Portugal invading the US, they don't have the manpower or the resources to come even close. Not even China remotely do.
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2:10PM on 03/16/2011
Huh? The vampires are communists now? I'm really out of touch with this series.
Huh? The vampires are communists now? I'm really out of touch with this series.
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+3
2:08PM on 03/16/2011

hahahaha

WHAT
WHAT
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2:06PM on 03/16/2011
LMAO...wow.
LMAO...wow.
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2:03PM on 03/16/2011
This unnecesary remake wasn't supposed to be made. But hey it's Hollywood.
This unnecesary remake wasn't supposed to be made. But hey it's Hollywood.
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2:03PM on 03/16/2011
As a fan of the original I had high hopes for this movie even if the soviets were kicked out and replaced by the Chinese. I now have lost all hope for this movie. I would believe an invasion from france more than i would an invasion from north korea.
As a fan of the original I had high hopes for this movie even if the soviets were kicked out and replaced by the Chinese. I now have lost all hope for this movie. I would believe an invasion from france more than i would an invasion from north korea.
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2:01PM on 03/16/2011
Talk about MGM having their heads way up their asses. Doesn't take a crystal ball to see this was a horrible idea from the very start. That's not to say the movies no good, only that yeah, DUH! Of course it's going to piss off China.
Talk about MGM having their heads way up their asses. Doesn't take a crystal ball to see this was a horrible idea from the very start. That's not to say the movies no good, only that yeah, DUH! Of course it's going to piss off China.
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+4
1:51PM on 03/16/2011
I guess we think differently. If the chinese made a movie about us invading them, I'd want to see it.
I guess we think differently. If the chinese made a movie about us invading them, I'd want to see it.
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1:39PM on 03/16/2011

That's BS!

I help the Chinese economy every time I order Chinese food! Specifically the L14 with Pork Fried Rice off the menu! This sucks monkey nuts!
I help the Chinese economy every time I order Chinese food! Specifically the L14 with Pork Fried Rice off the menu! This sucks monkey nuts!
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1:23PM on 03/16/2011
that settles it, from here on out, to protect our bottom line, all villains will be amish!
that settles it, from here on out, to protect our bottom line, all villains will be amish!
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1:22PM on 03/16/2011
also, this story makes the pic attached to the article awesomely ironic.
also, this story makes the pic attached to the article awesomely ironic.
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+5
1:19PM on 03/16/2011
That's a bunch of BS. If it were reversed, do you think the Chinese would change their films villian to Canada in order for us not to be offended? Hell no!
That's a bunch of BS. If it were reversed, do you think the Chinese would change their films villian to Canada in order for us not to be offended? Hell no!
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12:28PM on 03/16/2011
I think it's better this way... not that I was enthusiastic about seeing it. But at least WWIII won't be sparked due to a stupid Red Dawn remake.
I think it's better this way... not that I was enthusiastic about seeing it. But at least WWIII won't be sparked due to a stupid Red Dawn remake.
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12:12PM on 03/16/2011

Then what was the point?

I was fine with the idea of a Red Dawn remake. The Cold War tensions may have been far more palpable than any tenuous China vs USA "conflict", but it would have made for an interesting "what if" scenario. Now the film will be retrofitted with even less believable villains - they may as well downgrade even further and have the US invaded by the Philippines. As far as MGM is concerned, all Asian people look the same, right?

Now the film has been castrated and any discussion or thought it may
I was fine with the idea of a Red Dawn remake. The Cold War tensions may have been far more palpable than any tenuous China vs USA "conflict", but it would have made for an interesting "what if" scenario. Now the film will be retrofitted with even less believable villains - they may as well downgrade even further and have the US invaded by the Philippines. As far as MGM is concerned, all Asian people look the same, right?

Now the film has been castrated and any discussion or thought it may have been trying to provoke is null. While this was always a commercial product anyway, I still prefer a film to have a point when it's surfing on controversy.
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1:17PM on 03/16/2011
even if they had originally planned for the enemy to be North Korea, they would have still gotten the same set of asian actors.
even if they had originally planned for the enemy to be North Korea, they would have still gotten the same set of asian actors.
9:58PM on 03/16/2011
LOL @ "the Philippines",may as well be the Mexican drug cartels.
LOL @ "the Philippines",may as well be the Mexican drug cartels.
12:02PM on 03/16/2011

Really!?

No one can accept the fact that China would conquer America. Sure showing China as an aggressor would ruffle a few feathers, but it is fictional. A story told by someone years ago and is now being remade. why not re shoot it and make it another American civil war. Besides China owns us anyway, might as well let the future be seen.
No one can accept the fact that China would conquer America. Sure showing China as an aggressor would ruffle a few feathers, but it is fictional. A story told by someone years ago and is now being remade. why not re shoot it and make it another American civil war. Besides China owns us anyway, might as well let the future be seen.
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12:00PM on 03/16/2011

Really!?

No one can accept the fact that China would conquer America. Sure showing China as an aggressor would ruffle a few feathers, but it is fictional. A story told by someone years ago and is now being remade. why not re shoot it and make it another American civil war. Besides China owns us anyway, might as well let the future be seen.
No one can accept the fact that China would conquer America. Sure showing China as an aggressor would ruffle a few feathers, but it is fictional. A story told by someone years ago and is now being remade. why not re shoot it and make it another American civil war. Besides China owns us anyway, might as well let the future be seen.
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11:59AM on 03/16/2011
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11:56AM on 03/16/2011
They should have made them Canadian.
They should have made them Canadian.
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11:52AM on 03/16/2011

Finally (and vindication)

I knew this was a bad idea, but when I posted that back in January I got plenty of thumbs down.

Now I feel some vindication...of course this was a stupid idea. What is unbelievable is that MGM had to get to the FINISH LINE before realizing they'd made a mistake. Dumbasses.
I knew this was a bad idea, but when I posted that back in January I got plenty of thumbs down.

Now I feel some vindication...of course this was a stupid idea. What is unbelievable is that MGM had to get to the FINISH LINE before realizing they'd made a mistake. Dumbasses.
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+17
11:48AM on 03/16/2011
Haha, it took them two years to realize that maybe they might rub the fifth biggest market the wrong way? Wow. No wonder MGM is bankrupt.
Haha, it took them two years to realize that maybe they might rub the fifth biggest market the wrong way? Wow. No wonder MGM is bankrupt.
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9:54PM on 03/16/2011
Either way the "fifth biggest market" will never let this run. I'd have wrote them off from the git-go,or else,dumped the idea.
Either way the "fifth biggest market" will never let this run. I'd have wrote them off from the git-go,or else,dumped the idea.
11:44AM on 03/16/2011
I have no interest in this and this movie feels like it has been sitting on the shelf forever.
I have no interest in this and this movie feels like it has been sitting on the shelf forever.
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