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BEIJING (Hollywood Reporter) - An MGM remake of the 1984 film "Red Dawn" -- this time, with the Chinese and the Russians as the enemies -- has drawn sharp criticism from one of the leading Chinese state-run newspapers two days in a row.
"U.S. reshoots Cold War movie to demonize China" and "American movie plants hostile seeds against China," read the Monday and Tuesday editorials in the Beijing-based Global Times, whose daily circulation, in Chinese and English editions, is about 1.5 million.
Coming on the heels of secretary of state Hilary Clinton's China visit, the commentaries said the $42 million film, directed by Dan Bradley and starring Connor Cruise (son of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman), "is deeply rooted in Americans' fear of China's rise."
"Despite the world's focus on U.S.-China relations in the strategic and economic dialogue and their increasing economic connections, China can still feel U.S. distrust and fear, especially among its people. Americans' suspicions about China are the best ground for the hawks to disseminate fear and doubt, which is the biggest concern with the movie 'Red Dawn,'" one commentary said.
Excerpts of the new "Red Dawn" script, by Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore, leaked last weekend on the Web site The Awl. The excerpts appear to reflect a story in which China's People's Liberation Army -- led by Korean-American actor Will Yun Lee as the chief baddie, Captain Lo -- invade the U.S., with a group of resisters fighting back.
Posters online for the film, which MGM plans to release in November, show a cracked red, white and blue U.S. map stamped with the PLA star and the slogan "Rebuilding Your Reputation," according to The Awl.
MGM spokesman Grey Munford said the posters were made by fans, not by the filmmakers. "There isn't a one-sheet for the film at this time," he said.
China's media regulators long have bristled at politics in the movies and recently censored all mentions of Russia and Russians as villains from the Chinese theatrical version of "Iron Man 2."