Action movies aren’t as easy to make as they were in the 80’s when we had the straightforward and clear threats of the Cold War. With MGM working through their remake of the iconic film Red Dawn,they’ve been a bit cagey about the invading armies that they’ll be using. Everything that was filmed was done with the threat of the Chinese military invading the country but they’ve changed their tune as they’re going back and editing everything and repainting flags so that it’s the North Koreans that will be doing the invading. Why? Well, they want to be able to get the movie shown in China and reap some actual profit from it rather than to have it completely blacked out.
According to the LA Times,
The filmmakers now are digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols from “Red Dawn,” substituting dialogue and altering the film to depict much of the invading force as being from North Korea, an isolated country where American media companies have no dollars at stake.
Overall, it doesn’t appear that it will cost them all that much to do the change with the budget of the film, as it was also stated:
People close to the picture said the changes will cost less than $1 million and involve changing an opening sequence summarizing the story’s fictional backdrop, re-editing two scenes and using digital technology to transform many Chinese symbols to Korean. It’s impossible to eliminate all references to China, the people said, though the changes will give North Korea a much larger role in the coalition that invades the U.S.
Of course, as Collider notes, there’s some inherent script issues and the fact that it was filmed with, you know, Chinese actors who don’t exactly look North Korean.
I wonder if the film will try to gloss over the fact that people from China and North Korea have different facial structures. At least in MGM’s desire to not piss off China, they’re willing to basically say “Yeah, Americans can’t tell Asians apart anyway and hopefully U.S. audiences are stupid enough to think that North Korea has more power than China.” I suppose the new opening sequence will have to explain how in this alternate universe, China follows North Korea’s lead in an invasion of the U.S. Also, North Korea isn’t communist. It’s a military dictatorship, but pish-posh on those details.