Saturday, July 9, 2011

'Captain America' Movie Title a Problem in South Korea

The Toxic Avengers
Marvel Studios, the makers of Hollywood's latest blockbuster - Captain America - are planning on releasing the movie in the Korean market under the name "The First Avenger", to avoid a public backlash in the deeply anti-American country. Marvel knew it faced a marketing battle in Korea when it decided to make a movie about a Nazi-fighting supersoldier named 'Captain America', and not just because of the popularity of Nazi clothing and theme-bars in this country. Now the solution seems to be to rename the movie entirely.

It isn't the first time an American film has run into trouble in Korea. In 2006, a nervous Warner Brothers changed the well-known Superman line "truth, justice and the American way" to "truth, justice and all that stuff" to avoid offending Korean audiences. But aside from the name it is thought that the theme of the Captain America movie - featuring a sickly man who, after being rejected for enlistment, is eventually pressed into the army anyway, will resonate strongly with a Korean male audience who did their compulsory military service and are sick of draft-dodgers, and a government who are keen for even the mentally ill to be subject to conscription.

Anti-American sentiment has been rife in Korea ever since the aggressive superpower's cultural leaders in Hollywood claimed to have won the Korean War single-handedly, even though Korean school textbooks properly teach the fact that the War, which ended in a stalemate - not a victory - was fought by Korean soldiers with help from the United Nations, of which the United States was one member.

After the war, American military forces, which claimed to have been fighting against oppression, stayed in South Korea to support the oppressive military government. American support for the military dictatorship continued through to the 1980s, quietly providing logistical help in the brutal crackdown of Koreans involved in the Gwangju Democratization Movement, who were fighting for the same rights as citizens in America, which Americans did not want them to have.

During their unwelcome stay here, American soldiers have enjoyed terrorizing innocent Korean citizens despite always being treated with the utmost respect by friendly Koreans, who have never attacked an American soldier, ever. America has also recently reluctantly admitted to having been involved in a massive, but ultimately unsuccessful attempt, to poison Korea's water supply by using their military bases as international toxic waste dumps. Given the background of American criminality and repression in Korea, Korean audiences hardly want to pay to see Americans telling everyone how great they are, yet again.

In the light of the American military's agent orange dumping scandal in South Korea, distributors had briefly considered ironically calling the movie "The Toxic Avenger" here, but they discovered the title had already been used.

With his dark hair, light skin and generally non-Korean features, distributors then considered re-branding the Captain America movie, dubbing over the word 'America' with the word 'Korea' throughout the soundtrack, explaining "Captain Korea's" less-Asian look as the result of cosmetic surgery, which most Koreans undergo these days, in a brief preface to the movie. But this plan was also scuppered when major Korean movie studio Seoul Films announced their intention to make their own 'Captain Korea' movie, which will take the story and remake it for a Korean audience - replacing the Nazis with the Japanese.

Related Links
Soft-Pedal Captain America Overseas? Hollywood Says No
Captain America Will Lose His Name In Russia And South Korea
Anti-American sentiment in Korea
Nationalistic furies ignited anti-Americanism in 2002
Chemicals in US base poisoned groundwater
85 ex-US bases to be checked for environment pollution
Over 20,000 Soldiers Considered at Risk
Singer MC Mong gets suspended jail term over draft dodging
Rules toughened to prevent draft dodging
Lee Myung-bak's Military Service
Do Koreans Look Good in Nazi Uniforms?
The Toxic Avenger
Why Patients Are No Longer Shy About Plastic Surgery

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