One of the most famous conservative fantasies ever played out in film form was fightin' mad filmmaker John Milius' "Red Dawn," which told of an alternate 1980s small Colorado town invaded by occupying forces of the Soviet Union. Those dirty reds! They were eventually repelled with the help of a few spirited, patriotic gun-toting teenagers, The Wolverines, fighting for our nation's freedom. Go America!
In September of 2009 MGM began filming a remake of this 1984 flick, flavoring its gung-ho Reagan-era jingoism with a more post-9/11 brand of paranoia and casting the Chinese as the evil Red invaders.
Then came MGM's unfortunate series of financial woes, which delayed the remake from release, giving us a seemingly endless wait for our chance to see a new generation of Wolverines -- made up of Isabel Lucas, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Connor Cruise (yep, Tom's kid) and "Thor" himself Chris Hemsworth -- help take back our country.
To give you some perspective on how much time has elapsed, when the remake started shooting, original "Red Dawn" actor Charlie Sheen was the happily married family man star of the CBS comedy series "Two and a Half Men." Oh, how time flies…
Now, the L.A. Times is reporting that due to a heightened sensitivity to the financial power of Chinese audiences to deliver big oversees dollars towards our movies, among other imports, MGM is taking the bold step of digitally removing all verbal and visual references to China (flags, uniform emblems, etc) and replacing them with those of North Korea. With the latter country a more isolationist regime that doesn't want our filthy American culture product, China's influence is so strong that this decision was made without a single word of protest uttered by Chinese Authorities.
Tripp Vinson, one of 2011's "Red Dawn" producers, stated, "We were initially very reluctant to make any changes, but after careful consideration we constructed a way to make a scarier, smarter and more dangerous 'Red Dawn' that we believe improves the movie."
Whether the Chinese or North Koreans will be insulted that replacing flags (not actual actors) was all that was necessary to differentiate between the two nationalities remains to be seen, but this seems like the tip of the controversy iceberg for this new "Red Dawn."