Caffeinated Clint : Retitled Red Dawn for release?


Note : BONUS EPISODE OF “Caffeinated Clint” on our PODCAST HERE

Buried in a trade item that pertains to the cast just added to David R. Ellis’ next 3D magnum-opus “Shark Night 3D”, is the suggestion that the long-delayed “Red Dawn” remake, indefinitely postponed for release because of MGM’s money woes, has been retitled “Red Dawn 2011“.

Hmmm. Not exactly a genius re-branding… or is it!?

The title change would presuppose that the film, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Chris Hemsworth (as well as “Shark Night 3D” star Alyssa Diaz – hence the reason it was mentioned in THR), has been rescheduled for release next year.

The new title reminds me of the Patrick Lussier-directed Wes Craven-produced “Dracula 2000” which, as the title suggests, came out in 2000. For territories that didn’t receive the film until 2001 (and in particular, for the VHS and DVD release), Dimension retagged it “Dracula 2001”.

“Red Dawn 2011” also offers up the suggestion to those not-in-the-know that this is a brand-spanking new film… not one that’s been gathering dust for over a year.

Right now MGM studio is being run by creditors, which means every decision they make comes down to money. The studios completed films won’t be released until either a) MGM gets out of the red or b) the properties are auctioned off to other studios.

With the “Red Dawn”-esque “Tomorrow When The War Began” tracking very well (it opens in Australia this week before unspooling at the Toronto International Film Festival), it’s quite likely that someone will be quick to jump on “Red Dawn 2011” should MGM decide to auction it off. On the other hand, the potential success of “Tomorrow When The War Began” may spur MGM’s creditors to not only release the film sooner but pour some more cash into it (though they’ve already spent $42 million on it and say they won’t spend a dollar more) – it does, for instance, still needed someone to do the soundtrack. That, of course, requires more money.

Hopefully this name change (“Red Dawn 2011”), suggests the remake of John Milius’ 1984 favourite is indeed inching closer to a release – even if it is sometime next Summer, particularly since many in Hollywood say they’d be surprised if the film ever gets released.

“Wow, I don’t know what’s going to happen over there [at MGM]. It’s terrible”, Stuart Beattie, the writer/director of “Tomorrow When The War Began”, told me recently. “I can’t imagine having worked on a film for two years and then having it not being released. Pointless. I hope they find an outlet for it somewhere!?”

I’m a purist. You all know that. You also know I hate remakes as much as I hate bum-slaps from the elderly. And as a huge fan of “Red Dawn” (the cast – Grey! Swayze! Howell! Thompson! Boothe!), it saddens me that some deem it worn enough to warrant a flashy redo. Still, I hate to think of all the work – and money – that’s gone into a film resulting in something that merely sits on the shelf for years.

As I see it, such delays can only hurt a film. Remember in the early ’90s when Orion went bust and all their completed products post-bankruptcy were deemed to sit on the shelf until an imminent but tardy rescue? By the time “RoboCop 3”, “Blue Sky” and “The Dark Half” came out, some three years later, nobody was much interested in any of the films. Either word had got around that these films, particularly the third “RoboCop” was a dud that wasn’t deemed worthy of a release by the creditors, or quite simply, the market’s interest had waned in such a film in the time between it completing principal photography and ultimately hitting theaters.

Best Case Scenario : “Red Dawn 2011” comes out in 2011….. not in 2014.