I just got off the phone with RED DAWN producer Tripp Vinson, who is understandably concerned with the reaction to yesterday's LA Times article in which it was revealed that the film's invading force would now, via digital trickery, hail from North Korea instead of China. I know Vinson and the rest of the team behind the RED DAWN remake have been incredibly frustrated with their film getting shelved for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with its quality. The simple fact of that matter is that MGM is bankrupt, and, as a result, could not release the movie as planned last November.
And now they're getting criticized for digitally altering their villains in order to make the film more appealing to potential distributors.
While this is certainly a rare occurrence, Vinson believes the changes have actually made the film scarier and, perhaps, stronger. So he sent along this email to share with our readers...
I know there is a lot of interest and questions as to the changes announced regarding Red Dawn.
This movie has been rebooted because the filmmakers all love the original movie. The experience of seeing Red Dawn as a young boy in the middle of a Cold War, was life changing for me and a generation. I assure you that everyone involved with the reboot is keenly aware of the responsibility of delivering a movie that can stand eye to eye with the original.
The changes made to Red Dawn in the last few weeks were made in consultation with military think tanks and people that specialize in game theory. Really smart people that spend their days constructing doomsday scenarios for our military and government. The type of people that know the limitations of the North Korean military. The type of people that can project a series of events that could lead to some very scary things happening to our Country. I can assure you, we listened well to those people, especially with regards to the capability of the North Korean military.
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.
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.
I met with Vinson last fall to discuss the remake, and, even when the bad guys were Chinese, there were certain plot details he was holding back. If you're wondering how all of this is going to play out, read up on game theory, and know that the scope of the invasion in RED DAWN has yet to be fully revealed. From the beginning, the filmmakers have been obsessed with making this movie as plausible as possible - while still working as a rip-roaring action film like the original. They're not about to fuck it all up now just to get the movie released internationally.
Look, I have no idea how seamless the digital alterations and (most troubling to me) dialogue replacement will be, but it would be wrong to write off RED DAWN based on this. I've heard from multiple sources outside the production that the film works. So let's calm down and wait until we at least see a teaser.