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Red Dawn is one of my all-time favorite movies. Since almost every remake is a disaster, I don’t know what to expect from this….
Sometimes you don’t need a big army to resist an enemy occupation — especially when you are dealing with Chris Hemsworth (Thor of The Avengers), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark of The Hunger Games) and Josh Peck.
“Well, we are fighting an entire army, so that definitely stacks the odds against us,” says Hutcherson of his role in Red Dawn, due in theaters Nov. 21. “But it does help to have a superhero on your side.”
Even if the stars couldn’t tap into their alter movie personalities for this remake of the 1984 invasion film, Peck acknowledges, “We got a lot of firepower on our side.”
The original Cold War film featured a troupe of then up-and-coming stars — including Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey and her future Dirty Dancing co-star, Patrick Swayze — defending their Midwestern town from the Soviets.
The remake has moved the location to a Washington state high school under seige, but the same eye for emerging talent remains. When the film was shot in 2009, Hutcherson had not yet been cast in The Hunger Games, and the closely cropped Hemsworth was just training for Thor. Red Dawn‘s release was delayed because of financial problems at MGM, the film’s distributor.
“And their careers have blown up,” says Peck, who plays the younger brother to Hemsworth’s Marine character in the film. “It’s pretty dope to see what’s happened to Josh and Chris over the last three years.”
Chris Hemsworth secures a location in Red Dawn. Hemsworth might not have Thor’s “glorious flowing locks,” says co-star Peck. “But Chris could have a mullet and still look (cool). There’s something inherent in his DNA. He exudes masculinity.”
The Red Dawn enemy assailant has changed as well during the delay: Filmmakers re-edited and digitally altered the finished film.
“Originally it was the Chinese,” Hutcherson says. “And then there was the thought that the Chinese own most of the companies making movies and that maybe it wasn’t the best idea in the world.”
In the end, the attacking forces became the North Koreans (aided by the Chinese and Russians). Meanwhile, the members of the small-town high school “put aside our John-Hughes-Breakfast-Club difference and unite” to fight off the attack, Peck says.
The youngsters form a resistance group called The Wolverines, which includes Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas and Connor Cruise. They show off their chops in an ambush scene that recalls the original movie.
“There’s the spider-trap moment when we just appear out of the ground,” Peck says. “Red Dawn fans are going to be blown out by it.”
Hutcherson plays Cruise’s best friend in the film and was impressed with his “gung-ho” co-star. “He definitely takes after his dad (Tom Cruise) in the action department, 100%,” Hutcherson says.
Though he enjoys his on-screen bromance with Cruise, Hutcherson doesn’t get a romance in the film. It’s not a bad thing as he gears up for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
“I’ve got to save all my love for Katniss Everdeen.”