The remake of John Milius’s Cold War classic, Red Dawn, is proceeding apace with the addition of two new cast members as teenaged guerilla fighters who do battle against invaders of the United States, now Chinese as well as Russians.
According to Reuters:
“Josh Peck and Adrianne Palicki have been cast in the remake of 1984’s “Red Dawn,” set to begin filming in September. They join the already cast Chris Hemsworth in the story of a group of teenagers who form an insurgency after their town is invaded by Chinese and Russian soldiers.
“Peck will play Matt Eckert — the role originated by Charlie Sheen — the hotheaded younger brother of Hemsworth’s Jed Eckert (originally played by Patrick Swayze) and star quarterback of their Spokane high school football team. Palicki will play Toni, the role first inhabited by Jennifer Grey. She’s a tough fighter who develops romantic feelings for Jed, a Marine home on leave and the group’s unofficial leader.”
According to Scifi Wire, the script for the Red Dawn remake will be rewriten by Tim Gilroy, whose previous work includes the George Clooony film Michael Clayton.
The original Red Dawn, directed by John Milius, depicted a Soviet invasion of the United States from the point of view of a group of teenagers in a small, Colorado town. Despite having been released during the patriotic Reagan era, Red Dawn was somewhat controversial for depicting the Cold War becoming a hot war, with Soviet as well as Cuban invaders behaving in a brutal fashion in dealing with the insurgency. Red Dawn, nevertheless, made a respectable amount of money at the box office and became a cult classic.
Of course remaking a classic always has its dangers. The main fear of our era is not that of a Soviet invasion or even nuclear annihilation, the latter of which inspired films like The Day After, Testament, and Threads. The main fear of the first decade of the 21st Century is terrorism.
That is not to say that a Chinese led invasion, taking place sometime in the future, is outside the realm of possibility. China is driving to become a super power and regards the United States as an impediment to that goal. Nevertheless, an invasion and occupation of a continental sized nation half a world away, with a hostile and well armed population, would be a daunting task.
If the idea is plausible (if not likely), the trick is in the execution. A badly made film, especially a remake of a popular one, will not be received very well. Red Dawn the remake is due to be released in 2010, so it remains to be seen if it can measure up to John Milius’s dark vision of guerilla war in the American homeland.
Sources: “Red Dawn” remake adds two to cast, Jay A. Fernandez and Borys Kit, Reuters, June 17th, 2009
So weird it might work: Michael Clayton writer to rewrite Red Dawn remake, ScFi Wire, June 18th, 2009
Red Dawn : A Politcially Incorrect Vision of Guerilla War by John Milius, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, March 26th, 2006
Remaking Red Dawn, Mark R. Whittngton, Associated Content, May 19th, 2008