With the Cold War still very much in effect in 1984, it came as no real surprise that John Milius’ “Red Dawn” used the Soviets as the antagonist in its tale of American school kids taking up arms against an invading military force that has occupied their small town.
Of course the political landscape of the world has shifted so much in the past quarter-century that any attempt at a contemporary remake was going to have to update the threat. So when MGM began production on said remake last year, it was decided that the invading force would be a Chinese and Russian coalition.
Last week segments of the script leaked online over at TheAWL.com which has lead to a small but brewing concern that the film could potentially be used to reinforce or even propagate xenophobic attitudes.
ABC News says that editorial responses in the Beijing-based Global Times a few days ago indicate that many scenes of the film ‘demonize China’. People’s Daily Online says “because the entire film is full of dialogue about killing the Chinese as well as scenes smearing China’s image, many Chinese people are very angry.”
Not helping the case is that no promos or official materials have been released so far from the upcoming $42 million production, thus the only things seen in relation to the film have been set photos of locations plastered with propaganda posters mostly consisting of the invading army’s red star insignia.
The film is currently targeting a release later this year.