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Josh Peck avoids original ‘Red Dawn’

Josh Peck, star of the remake of the 1984 film “Red Dawn,” has a good excuse for not having seen the original film when it was in theaters. He wasn’t born until two years after it opened. The film’s been on DVD for years and can often be found on a cable channel. Despite all the opportunities, Peck decided not to watch the Patrick Swayze film after being cast in the remake until after the filming of the new “Red Dawn” had been completed.

“It was just one of those things that after I read the script I was immediately intrigued about doing the film,” Peck says. “I knew if I watched the original film it would be hard to avoid some sort of mimicry, trying to imitate certain things that you love. I watched the night we finished and immediately understood why people love it so much.”

Peck, best known as one of the stars of the Nickelodeon series “Drake & Josh,” hasn’t made a lot of action movies. Along with the TV show, he’s done a lot of voice work including the “Ice Age” movies. That’s one reason he was excited about being in the remake to the point he was willing to go through training camp before shooting “Red Dawn” so he would be ready to handle all of the big action stunts.

There was no training to help Peck get ready for the reaction he’s had from fans of the original “Red Dawn.”

“They are weirdly protective of this film,” Peck says. “As soon as it came up in any conversation they were like ‘Chill out on my movie, Bro.’ Everyone would tell me that this movie meant a lot to them so I knew immediately this was not to be taken lightly.”

Peck’s co-star Adrianne Palicki got some very distinct instructions from the fans.

“I was told ‘Don’t (expletive deleted) up this movie,” Palicki tells me.

‘Red Dawn’ finally rises in theaters

The remake of the 1984 film “Red Dawn” hits theaters next week. I can’t tell you at this time whether or not I like the movie but I can tell you that the story of how the film got made and finally found its way into theaters would make a very interesting documentary.

While not giving away my reaction to the movie, it should be pointed out the long delay for the release of “Red Dawn” was not based on the quality of the production. It was mainly caused by financial problems with MGM.

When the new “Red Dawn” was shot three years ago, no one had seen star Chris Hemsworth in either “Thor” or “The Avengers.” Josh Hutcherson hadn’t even started work on “The Hunger Games.” Isabel Lucas hadn’t been seen in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” And, there hadn’t been all of the talk about Adrianne Palicki as TV’s new “Wonder Woman.”

“Red Dawn” producer Tripp Vinson points out that the original “Red Dawn” is remembered for helping launch the careers of actors like Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey. This update version would have had the same bragging rights had there not been such a long release delay.

One major change was made to the movie during the delay. In the original remake version, it was an invading Chinese army that forces a group of teens to become rebels. When you see the film, that army — through computer wizadry — is now from North Korea. It makes more sense that a country as large as China would consider attacking the United States. But, with the way the economy has been going in recent years, such a move by the Chinese wouldn’t make good financial sense.