‘Red Dawn’ Star Josh Peck Talks Higher Stakes In Remake

Nearly 30 years after Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen and C. Thomas Howell took up arms against invading Soviet troops, a whole new crop of Hollywood’s Pretty Young Things will fend off an equally formidable foe in the upcoming remake of “Red Dawn,” hitting theaters November 21.

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Josh Peck, the film follows a rag-tag group of teens as their town is taken over by North Korean forces. As part of MTV’s Fall Movie Preview Week, we’ve not only snagged an exclusive first-look image from the film, but chatted up Peck about the long-gestating project and its roots in the ’80s classic.

Check out exclusive images from “Red Dawn” and the rest of our Fall Movie Preview films.

Production began on the actioner three years ago, long before Hemsworth wielded Thor’s hammer or Hutcherson entered the arena as Peeta, and for co-star Peck, the wait for “Red Dawn” to break on the big-screen has been a long one, to say the least.

“It’s a trip. It’s like I’ve been in labor for three years,” he said. “It definitely had its hiccups and whatnot and took a while, but now that I’m getting feedback from people who are watching the trailer, it’s making me as excited as I was to make it.”

It’s worth noting that Peck, along with Hutcherson, wasn’t even born when the original stormed cineplexes back in 1984, and Peck made the decision not to watch the first film before making this 21st-century update.

“I had the meeting with the director, and the script really stood on its own, so I was able to get a real impression of what I wanted to do just from that,” he explained. “I was well aware of this sort of cult following and how people had sort of loved and revered and grown up with it on some level, but I just felt like inevitably, our movie was so different that maybe it would be better to wait to watch it until after we made the movie. But the day we finished I watched the whole thing.”

What struck Peck most when comparing the two was the pure scale of the remake. “It is just so much more immense, and with a director like Dan Bradley, who has such a history in action films and creating these brilliant over-the-top action sequences, it’s truly sort of intricate and in depth and really grabs you. We were just really blessed with the level of technology and the scale of things we were able to utilize. It feels like the stakes are that much higher.”

Obviously, the stars couldn’t rely completely on props and special effects to pack a visual punch — they also had to undergo rigorous training. Peck worked with a number of “salt of the Earth” Navy SEALs — an experience he won’t soon forget.

“They put me on a no-sugar diet, and I was having breakdowns. I was very emotional. I was probably the only person who welled up halfway through a back squat.”

Are you excited for the new “Red Dawn”? Are you a fan of the original? Tell us in the comments below and on Twitter!