The remake of the 1984 Soviet-scare action film “Red Dawn” is finally slated to hit theaters this coming November, more than three years after cameras first started rolling on the project. The long delay was due to original distributor MGM’s financial difficulties and eventual Chapter 11 filing, with the film being snapped up by FilmDistrict following MGM’s final decision to unload the $60 million effort.
One of the stars of the forthcoming film is actor Josh Hutcherson, best known for his roles in films including “Zathura”, “Bridge to Terabithia” and “Cirque du Freak” and now ready to break out big time thanks to his role in the hugely-anticipated adaptation of “The Hunger Games” (slated to hit theaters March 23). I took the opportunity to ask the young thesp about the long-shelved ’80s remake during a roundtable discussion for “Hunger Games”, in which he plays Peeta Mellark, one of 24 teenage “tributes” who is forced to take part in a televised fight to the death.
“It is weird,” said Hutcherson of “Red Dawn”‘s impending release. “I shot it three years ago, so that was quite awhile [ago]. It’s cool, it’s a really cool movie. It’s something that I’m really proud of. I’m excited for it finally to come out. …I saw a version of it, it’s probably been a year ago at this point. I think they’ve made some changes since then. But I like it. It’s very action-packed, it’s a very exciting movie, and the characters, you really care about them. And to me in a movie, especially in an action film, it’s important to have characters you care about, so when you see them get shot, you see them get hit, you actually [go]…’oh my god, my character that I like is gonna get killed!'”
One of the changes Hutcherson was referring to was the switch of the invading forces in the film from Chinese to North Korean, a decision made so as not to alienate the increasingly-lucrative Chinese market when the film gets released (“They were still Chinese the last time I saw it,” he said.)
Hutcherson’s last film to hit theaters was “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”, the sequel to the 2008 3-D film “Journey to the Center of the Earth” that co-starred Brendan Fraser. Though the follow-up’s $85 million domestic gross failed to match the take of the first movie Stateside, “Journey 2” is racking up the receipts overseas, bringing its total to nearly $300 million worldwide (and counting). So of course I had to ask Hutcherson whether he’d heard anything about a three-quel (of course, this was before EW subsequently reported that “Journey 3” was indeed already in the works, and that both Hutcherson and “Journey 2” co-star Dwayne Johnson would likely be returning)…
“A third one? I don’t know…I mean, they’ve definitely talked about it,” he told me. “[‘Journey 2’ is] doing pretty well right now, so it could be a very real possibility.”
I’m guessing Hutcherson knew more than he was saying but wasn’t at liberty to spill on the project the day I spoke with him, though it’s certainly not a surprise that a third film is moving forward after “Journey 2” grossed more than three times its reported $80 million budget globally.
Will the long wait for the “Red Dawn” remake be worth it? Share your thoughts below.