I loved "Red Dawn" as a kid, and in the section of my brain where I'm eternally an eight-year-old watching sci-fi re-runs on a crappy TV in the basement rec room, I still do. I'm just not sure it's held up so well over the years. Great story – the Soviets invade Middle America, Patrick Swayze and his friends fight back – but by today's standards, the action feels a little soft, the special effects kind of cheesy.
Which is why I'm pumped to see "Red Dawn" getting the remake treatment: big Hollywood budget, same great story, albeit with Communist China joining in as antagonists. Similarly, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who signed onto the project a few weeks ago, has fond memories of the original and looks forward to what modern moviemaking magic can bring to the equation.
"I remember seeing it and loving it," he told MTV News. "It was one of those great popcorn action movies. A bunch of great young actors were in it at the time. This is the same deal. It's a reboot. It's really fast, smart, hard action. Great young cast of actors."
Leading the cast – in the role originated by Swayze – is Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, one of two parts he nabbed after his star-making turn this spring in "Star Trek" (the other is the title role in "Thor"). Rounding out the "Dawn" crew are Josh Peck ("The Wackness"), Adrianne Palicki ("Friday Night Lights") and Morgan, who will play a similar role to Powers Boothe's Lt. Col. Andrew Tanner in the 1984 film.
"The older, wiser guy who comes in and helps these kids fight the ways of communism," explained Morgan.
When our own Christina Garibaldi caught up with Morgan, he was shooting a hush-hush project in Puerto Rico. From there, he planned to head back to the States to jump aboard "Red Dawn" and join what he called "the brightest young actors we have today."
"And then the idiots hired me, so we'll see how that goes!" he laughed.