asian villain swap: red dawn remake changes villains from china to north korea

Remember that Red Dawn remake that had us all worried? The new version depicts a nightmare scenario in which China-led military forces invade and occupy the United States -- and it's up to our scrappy youth to fight back! What a great way to capitalize on growing fears of China's rapidly surging economic might.

After hanging around in limbo for a bit (the studio went broke), it looks like that movie is finally going to be released, but with a major eleventh hour change. The bad guys are no longer Chinese -- they're North Korean! Villain swap!

I guess the producers finally realized they'd have no chance in hell of opening this film in China, and when it comes down to it, they need that lucrative international box office. This is probably something they should have figured out a while ago: Reel China: Hollywood tries to stay on China's good side
But potential distributors are nervous about becoming associated with the finished film, concerned that doing so would harm their ability to do business with the rising Asian superpower, one of the fastest-growing and potentially most lucrative markets for American movies, not to mention other U.S. products.

As a result, 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.

The changes illustrate just how much sway China's government has in the global entertainment industry, even without uttering a word of official protest. Although it's unclear if anyone in China has seen "Red Dawn," a leaked version of the script last year resulted in critical editorials in the Global Times, a communist party-controlled paper.
Looks like the studio gave into its own fear of China -- the fear of lost cash. (In Hollywood, the most compelling fear of all!) So without a hearing an official peep from Beijing, the filmmakers are switching the invading nation to North Korea. I guess they really don't have to worry about the box office there, so they can depict Americans killing all the North Koreans they want.

So is that really all it takes -- re-recording some audio, a few snips of editing here and there, and digitally changing out some imagery and signage? I get that this is not a very complicated story, but I'm alarmed at the ease by which they can swap out the villains -- is it really just matter of one Asian invasion for another? This is going to be some kind of mess.

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