The road to the “Red Dawn” remake has been long and bumpy, with some dubious do-overs and even some mild insults being thrown around. The film was shot and wrapped way back in 2009, but the financial woes of MGM kept the film on the shelf for a long time as the studio tried to become viable enough to give the picture a release. But as their priorities were squarely on the “The Hobbit” and “James Bond 23” it soon became apparent that “Red Dawn” was going to need to find a new home. While MGM sought a buyer it became clear that the anti-China storyline was going to make it a tough sell because studios/distributors are increasingly relying on Chinese dollars to pad out foreign box office, so some digital retooling was done to give North Korea a bigger role as the antagonists. Well, the gambit has paid off as “Red Dawn” is finally closer to finding its way to a multiplex near you.
FilmDistrict, the newbie film distributors who scored a massive hit this spring with the low budget “Insidious,” and got a less than stellar reception for “Drive” earlier this month have nabbed the rights for a remake. Anyway, in case you forgot, the film revolves around a group of teenagers who rally to save their small town from a horde of invading foreigners. Truly a movie for our times. And as producer Tripp Vinson noted earlier this year, this a movie for you all red meat eating, beer drinking Americans, so all you lefty bleeding hearts better steer clear.
“Red Dawn isn’t for everyone. So, if you are interested in seeing a movie filled with preachy political discussions — Red Dawn ain’t for you. If you love movies in which Americans are the bad guys — Red Dawn ain’t for you. If you get emotional watching daytime television — Red Dawn ain’t for you. If you’re a vegetarian — Red Dawn probably ain’t for you,” Vinson said this spring. “But! If you like meat with your potatoes, muscle cars that roar, tanks, guns and things blowing the fuck up by American’s kicking some Commie ass – then we have something special coming your way.” No, this was not a statement dug up from the 1980s press kit for the original.
Anyway, if there is one benefit to the film’s delay, it’s that the profile of its star Chris Hemsworth has been raised considerably thanks to “Thor” and it’s likely to be a bigger hit now than it would have been a year ago. Also helping things out? Josh Hutcherson will also see his popularity boost thanks to “The Hunger Games” next spring, so suddenly, this ’80s remake with some unknown leads is now a movie led by two franchise stars. Josh Peck, Adrianne Palicki and Jeffrey Dean Morgan round out the cast but the deciding factor in whether or not the film will be passable popcorn entertainment or something a bit less savory lies in the hands of stunt coordinator Dan Bradley who is making his feature debut. But Vinson’s comments don’t give us much hope for anything approaching nuance.
No word on an exact release date yet, so you’ll just have to keep your eyes out for this one. [24 Frames]