MGM Digitally Axes Chinese Villains From Film

Bad guys in 'Red Dawn' are now from North Korea
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2011 2:25 PM CDT
MGM Edits Out Chinese Villains From Remake of 'Red Dawn'
In this 1984 file photo originally released by MGM/United Artists, Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, and, yes, Charlie Sheen are shown in a scene from "Red Dawn."   (AP Photo/MGM/United Artists)

Here's a sign of how much Hollywood is salivating over the potential money to be made in China: MGM is digitally editing the Chinese bad guys in an upcoming movie to make them look like they're from North Korea instead, reports the Los Angeles Times. The move came not because China raised objections but because distributors got worried Beijing might take offense and shut the film out of its lucrative market.

The movie is a remake of the 1984 Cold War flick Red Dawn, in which teens in Washington state repel a Soviet invasion. MGM initially replaced the Soviets with Chinese in the new version, but now the studio is busy erasing the nation's flags and military symbols. "There would have been a real backlash" otherwise, says the head of one company that distributes films in China. "It's like being invited to a dinner party and insulting the host all night long." (More China stories.)

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