‘Red Dawn’ remake to finally break in theaters next year

The long-delayed remake of “Red Dawn” will finally see the light of day thanks to independent distributor FilmDistrict, which is reportedly in the midst of acquiring the shelved title from MGM for a presumed release sometime next year.

The original film starred Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey as a group of teenagers resisting a Soviet invasion of the U.S. using guerrilla warfare. The film became a substantial box-office hit on release, grossing nearly $40 million on a reported $4.2 million budget.

The remake, which was originally slated for a November 24th, 2010 release, has been sitting in limbo since its completion in late 2009, its fate tied up with MGM’s well-publicized financial difficulties and subsequent Chapter 11 declaration late last year. Though the company emerged from bankruptcy shortly thereafter, they ultimately decided not to release the film.

According to the LA Times, which broke the story, producers used creative editing techniques and digital technology to change the invaders from Chinese to North Korean after it became clear MGM wouldn’t be releasing the movie. The feeling was that would-be distributors wouldn’t feel comfortable backing a project likely to offend the Chinese government, as the film market in that emerging nation is seen as highly lucrative.

The reported $60 million film stars Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Adrianne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson and Isabel Lucas and serves as the helming debut of Dan Bradley, who previously worked as a second-unit director on films including “Quantum of Solace”, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and “The Bourne Ultimatum”.

Along with Joss Whedon’s “The Cabin in the Woods”, also starring Hemsworth, “Red Dawn” is the last unreleased title to have been produced under the pre-Chapter 11 regime at MGM. The former film was bought by Lionsgate back in June and is slated to hit theaters on April 13, 2012.