In the real world, China is the rising new star on the Western world's international threat matrix. They're poised to economically dominate the world, and their military is not too shabby either. All those World War III-genre screenwriters who went dormant after Russia collapsed are now being revived from their cryogenic chambers to start writing China-threat scripts.
The best example of China becoming the new Russia is Red Dawn, the iconic Cold War invasion movie, which was recently being remade with China literally replacing Russia.
Unfortunately they ran into a snag: While we had a "Cold War" with the Soviet Union, our differences with China are more like a "Passive-Aggressive Catfight." We're not actually physically fighting China anywhere in the world, and neither country seems to even be thinking about it. Instead, we're duking it out with snide comments and aggressive economic policies.
And a little bit of lead poisoning.
We're actually talking to and trading with China, and although we have a lot of arguments about that trade, nobody wants to see it stopped. So pretty much anyone that likes making big money in the global economy can feel the squeeze when they want to talk shit about China. Including movie studios.
That's why the new Red Dawn is being hurriedly edited in post-production to remove all references to China and change the bad guys to ... North Korea.
Whoever his agent is, he deserves a raise.
Considering that North Korea doesn't even have the boats to send an invading army over here (or the shoes to feed them), the movie's marketing is also being changed from action to comedy.
It's not just Hollywood that's scared. The new game Homefront also caved under pressure to switch its baddies from China to Korea, but at least they had the sense to have the two Koreas unite in the game's alternate reality, so only half of our invaders are starving to death and would defect the moment they saw a Dairy Queen.
If these were North Korean troops, they'd be inside already.
While much of Hollywood keeps trying to stay abreast of current events and put in the new anti-American hotness, a certain segment of it tries to play it safe by going back to the good old days, when an unquestionably evil empire was trying to exterminate an entire race of people and take over the world. From the perspective of filmmakers, the world was a refreshingly black and white place ...
Source: Wikipedia Commons
Unlike the demographics of the Nazi party.
Everyone knows Nazis were evil, and Nazis were a huge military threat to the whole world. You don't even need any exposition -- you can jump right in to the hero running away from them or fighting them and get on with your story.
The downside is that so many people were jumping on the World War II bandwagon, both movie studios and game designers, that there's been a bit of a backlash of audiences complaining that they're sick of it.
Even the Indiana Jones series, which milked that Nazi cow expertly for so long, finally had to branch out and do Russians or something. Sure, it was partly because Harrison Ford clearly wasn't young enough to still be 1940s Indiana Jones, but also partly due to come on, enough Nazis already.
The other problem is that World War II was a real thing, and if you have to tell real stories, sooner or later you run out of story lines, unless you pretend something completely different happened, like Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.
Remember when Jewish-American assassins shot Hitler 337 times?