RED DAWN Producer Says Vegetarians Won’t Like Remake; Defends Changing Villains to North Koreans

     March 18, 2011


Earlier this week, we reported that the producers behind the remake of Red Dawn were digitally changing the film’s main villain to North Korea in order to secure international distribution to the remake’s original evil country, China.  For those unfamiliar with the plot, the story centers on a group of teenagers who defend their town from an invading communist force.

The film was set to be released last November, but was put on the shelf due to MGM’s bankruptcy.  Producers are now looking for a new distributor and they’re willing to change the villain in order to make the movie more appealing to international distributors who know that China has some serious spending power.  I found the change to be ludicrous and racially insensitive, but producer Tripp Vinson has let me know that the remake of Red Dawn isn’t for me and that top men have said North Korea is a viable threat.  Top men.  Hit the jump for Vinson’s angry missive and my response.

red-dawn-remake-posterHere’s what Vinson told AICN about changing the villains in the remake:

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.


Oooh!  Game theory!  I’ve heard about that!  Question: why didn’t you talk to the “really smart people” before you made the movie?  Also, how is that information going to be conveyed to audiences?  Will there be a title card reading: “A bunch of policy nerds told us that theoretically, North Korea could be a bigger threat to the U.S. than China.  Believe that.  They know game theory n’ shit.”

I also like how he basically sings “America: Fuck Yeah!” and tells people that if you like your movies complicated, then you’re a giant pussy who needs to go back to your arugula and let the real men watch the remake of Red Dawn.  Also, what does being a vegetarian have to do with your enjoyment of the movie?  What is the importance of meat in the narrative?

Around The Web
  • Dan

    As a vegetarian who was willing to hand over my hard earned cash for this film, I’m deeply disappointed that it’s not worth my time. Glad to know I shouldn’t waste my money on this film though, refreshing honesty from a producer.

  • bacta70517

    Why not just release the original version in america and release the new version in china!!!!

  • John

    Whoever wrote this should fuck off… They’re retarded.

  • Dempsey100

    Guy sounds like a retard. Hope the film is a financial disaster!

    • M&M

      Because of the self-censorship of the filmed concept?

      Yup, I do too.


    The title is MISLEADING.

    One Blurb about being a vegaterian doesnt warrant a bold lettered title.. Talk about grasping for straws

    second rate shit like that makes me not want to visit this site.

    so fucking what they changed the flags to N. Korea. Most people in America couldnt tell you the difference between China and N. Korea any way. The fact

    The fact they changed the flags and non of the Actors to N. Korean tells me a lot more about how they view the rest of the world. Thats some racist shit. You are too if you’re only complaint is that they CGI’d anythign related to the Chinese.

    In all honesty this movie doesnt sound like it was for you anyway.

    I can understand if you are mad they changed something in the TWILIGHT SERIES but this is a mans movie and lets keep the PMS-ING to a minimum..

  • peedinthegastank

    It was a pretty effing stupid statement, but I kinda think you’re making it sound more bombastic than what it really is… its just promoter fluff, not a personal shot at vegetarians or fans of intelligent thrillers. I’d imagine this guy would probably get equally lambasted if he went the other way and said the movie aims to appease all types of people. Like the Raiders quote though…

  • Neckrolls4life

    AMERICA! BOOM! I was only mildly interested in this film but now that I know that there will be potatoes, I’m all in!

  • Mammoth

    “Also, what does being a vegetarian have to do with your enjoyment of the movie?”

    I think he’s hinting that there’s going to be another scene similar to the deer killing scene in the original. Where they kill the deer and then drink it’s blood. Back in the 80′s, no one would care. But now, it might ruffle some feathers. Oh well. Still pretty stupid about changing the invading country to North Korea though. Like bacta said, should just release two versions….one for the US and the edited one to China.

  • Brian

    What a douche,

  • samthelion

    Jesus, I feel less proud to be an American after having our values reduced to things found in every Michael bay movie. Also, BACTA was right just re release the original. It’s just as relevant today as it was back then

  • Traffic

    Cool your shit, Matt. They’re not accusing vegetarians of being “giant pussies”–that’s just an unjustified inference you made because you hate Republicans. And anyone who knows anything about international politics knows that North Korea is currently a far greater threat than China. U.S. diplomatic relations with China have improved exponentially since the end of the Cold War, but North Korea has distanced itself more and more from our government. Last I checked, no one in this country is afraid of China nuking a nearby U.S. ally any time soon, but a few years back there was a high probability of North Korea firing short-ranged missiles at Japan. You don’t need an expert to tell you that the switch in Red State was logical.

  • Avid Movie Goer

    Even if what he is saying it true, that North Korea could invade the US, it doesn’t matter. With movies it’s not about what is true but how people perceive it. I don’t believe for a second that North Korea could invade the US. It is a small country with a small population. Maybe in reality they could. But that doesn’t really pass the eye ball test. So I think I’ll skip this until I catch it on HBO or Showtime or something.

  • Ryan

    I go to the movies to be entertained, not for realism most of the time. And while China is a bigger ‘threat’, I don’t see them attacking us. Owning us? Yeah, easily. They pretty much do. The silent takeover will happen. They won’t need to invade. If they want to show North Koreans, I don’t care. There the more volatile I think, though I do believe they should release the film as it was made.

  • Michael

    As greedy as Hollywood executives and studios tend to be, it is surprising and extremely laughable that this far into the production of the movie they realize that, oh, hey, China has a huge population, full of moviegoers, and we’re going to alienate them, and lose out on a big payday if we keep on going down this road.

    No wonder why MGM went bankrupt.

    I’m nowhere near the movie industry, and I could have told them that.

    For such wealthy individuals, they sure don’t know their own business. How pathetic is that?

    I guess they really should stick to movies based on board games. Sigh.

  • Thad

    I’m new to the site, but Matt you sound like one angry, self righteous guy. The smugness is a big turn off. Just the other day you were slamming movie posters and said, and I quote… “here’s also a new poster for Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. I’m not sure what Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” has to do with the plot (also, Van Gogh was Dutch so again, I’m missing the French connection).” Well the painting happens to be of an area in southern France. Maybe you should stop trying to sound intelligent and start writing news about movies.

  • Yahzee Skellington

    What a lame statement… and way to qualify Americans as retard meat-eaters, noisy-car fanatics with no interest in smart movies and a huge love of big guns… he forgot about boobs though… it’s for guys like this that America is being seen nearly everywhere as a country full of shallow cash-grabbing pussies…

  • Bradpitti

    “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. ” … geee Realy smart people just dont spend their time with the construction for doomsday or war scenarios for the military you moron!
    your movie is allready so messed up – the only bomb that is really going of in red dawn is the one at the box office .. where is the dvd of the original ? im going to slip it in my player and forget about that remake !

  • mitch

    It’s a freakin movie not real life. Try not to confuse the two

  • Eric M

    Why don’t they change the invaders to aliens?

    Don’t they have “think tanks” for that?

  • Alex–

    We all know any successful invasion on the U.S mainland by any army on earth is impossible. For this reason, you might as well make the movie villain the biggest villain on the world stage currently, in the previous film that was the russians, in our day and age it’s the north koreans.

    This is completely understandeable. Red Dawn is a popcorn actioner not some documentary. A chinese military attack on the U.S was ridiculous to start off with in addition to being incredibly offensive to the Chinese.

    I agree that the director sounds like an idiot trying to justify his decision though.

    And I agree with the guy on just how stupid it is to change the nationality of the invading force after they made the film.

    Steve should chillout, this is silly film not to be taken seriously.

  • tzaylor

    Looks like the producers remarks are having the desired effect. Lots of discussion and attention for his movie.

    Matt, why would you be offended they change the villain to north korea? You are fine with the villains being Chinese? WTF?

  • kerz

    If your a vegetarian Red Dawn aint for you? Because watching a film alters being a vegetarian in any way. Sure that makes sense… =S

    • sb

      Just have to laugh at all these people (especially Matt) bagging on this movie because the director said it’s not for vegetarians. If you don’t know why, I guess you haven’t seen the original. Pretty sure he’s referring to the deer hunt/blood drinking scene.

  • GerryA

    I was always more a ‘Red Scorpion’ fan anyway.


  • Brad

    Tripp Vinson just admit it, you SOLD OUT to China.
    Just admit it, and then release the uncensored version in the US
    and the touch up north korean version for China. This would make the most sense. Not wanting to offend China is one thing, but to make the american audience watch a last minute redo N korean version is not going to go over well at the box office.
    Dont offend China hence the North korean version
    But at the same time dont offend America, hence the uncensored version. Two versions for two countries. So easy a cave man could do it. But if you follow thru with just the redo NK version then I to will join the American rebellion against MGM and will boycott the movie.