Having weathered MGM’s financial woes and some last-minute digital revamping to avoid pissing off the Chinese, the Red Dawn remake is finally ready to hit theaters next month. A first trailer hit a couple of months ago, and now the first TV spot has arrived to remind us of the absurdity we can expect. Watch the video after the jump, then stick around for more photos from RoboCop and a casting update on a new Little Rascals.

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Four years ago, MGM started getting the pieces together for a remake of the 1984 war pic Red Dawn. The expectation was that the movie would come out sometime around 2010, but it then suffered massive setbacks including the studio’s financial woes and the realization that demonizing the Chinese isn’t cool anymore, now that Asia accounts for a huge chunk of the international box office. It was starting to look like the film might never get a theatrical release at all when FilmDistrict swooped in last fall, setting the shelved flick for a November 2012 release.

With that new opening date creeping closer, the distributor has released two new images from the movie showing stars Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, and Josh Peck. Though we’ve previously gotten a look at the cast in costume and glimpses of the set, these are some of the first official stills to hit the web. Check ‘em out after the jump.

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As we head into Thanksgiving weekend and gear up to watch what feels like a dozen new releases this weekend, FilmDistrict and Sony have quietly announced new release dates for a few of their projects.

That long-delayed Red Dawn remake that FilmDistrict picked up earlier this fall is now scheduled to drop next fall, while Sony’s Pixels and Singularity have both set dates for 2013. Meanwhile, we finally have a set date for that Kathryn Bigelow project about Osama bin Laden. More details after the jump.

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FilmDistrict is turning into the distributor of odd orphans. It grabbed the former Miramax project Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and is now reportedly about to pick up the Red Dawn remake directed by Bourne second-unit shooter Dan Bradley. MGM financed and shot the film in 2009 before undergoing bankruptcy and reorganization. The movie made news early this year when we became aware that the Chinese enemies were being digitally altered into North Korean adversaries, hopefully to avoid pissing off the rapidly expanding Chinese movie market.

We thought we might see the movie via Sony, but that deal never went through. Now FilmDistrict, riding a Drive-fueled high, is stepping in. Read More »

Josh Peck and Toni Mason Join Red Dawn

red dawn casting
Entertainment Weekly has learned that Josh Peck and Adrianne Palicki have joined Chris Hemsworth in Dan Bradley‘s remake of Red Dawn. MGM is producing the redo of the 1984 John Milius action war drama about a bunch of Colorado high school students who must run for cover then Soviet and Cuban troops invade their school. The students decide to wage their own guerrilla warfare against the invaders under the banner of their football team, The Wolverines.

The previously announced Hemsworth (best known as Kirk’s father in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek) will be playing Jed Eckert (played by Patrick Swayze in the original), a marine on leave, who leads the group into battle. Josh Peck (The Wackness) will be playing Matt Eckert (played by Charlie Sheen in the original), the younger brother of Jed and the high school’s star quarterback. Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights) will play Toni Mason (played by Jennifer Grey in the original), survivor turned tough girl and Jed’s possible love interest. Red Dawn is scheduled to hit theaters on September 24th 2010.

Discuss: What do you think of the casting choices so far?

Look at C. Thomas Howell in the yearbook photo above. Today’s teens need to aim higher. Emptying today’s “post-9/11″ quota is screenwriter Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia, Y: The Last Man adaptation) who will pen the remake of 1984′s Red Dawn, the beloved Russian invasion teen patriot movie that inspired Toy Soldiers and many a neighborhood ground warz. Ellsworth described his take to the Hollywood Reporter…

“The tone is going to be very intense, very much keeping in mind the post-9/11 world that we’re in,” says Ellsworth, who was 11 when the original was released. “As ‘Red Dawn’ scared the heck out of people in 1984, we feel that the world is kind of already filled with a lot of paranoia and unease, so why not scare the hell out of people again?”

Two things: If we’re switching out the Ruskies (and Cubans) for Osama bin Laden, does the title still make sense? Also, was the point of writer-director John Milius’s original to frighten people or simply to kill people non-stop on screen and give bored video store employees a chance to connect with their plebeian customers? Don’t overthink it, Ellsworth. Don’t turn Red Dawn into [shudder] The Siege!

MGM, which is also ramping up the RoboCop remake, has signed Dan Bradley to direct. Bradley’s filmography goes on for days and days. He’s worked as a second unit director on the last two Spider-Man films, Superman Returns, the last two Bourne films, and is currently working on Quantum of Solace. His list of credits for coordinating stunts—-which are nearly as vital as the director for this remake—-includes every movie you’ve seen in the last 20 years. Go for it.

No word if the new (and not yet cast) batch of fresh faces (cough, Corey Haim), will shout “Wolverines!”

Discuss: Red Dawn or Feh, Yawn?

p.s. War Games 2 drops on DVD July 29th! [Explosion]

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