The upcoming comedy The Interview featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco is purportedly ruffling feathers in North Korea, with its premise of a bumbling TV pair slated to interview the nation's leader and enlisted to kill him instead.
As Hollywood's latest default baddies, North Koreans are often today's go-to cinematic villains, following the Brits, the French, the Germans, the Russians and Arabs from various nations.
A provocative, unpredictable communist nation with a finger allegedly poised on the nuclear button and government spokespeople prone to militaristic propaganda, hyperbole and bluster, North Korea is Hollywood's perfect candidate for global Public Enemy No. 1. That's as long as a movie's focus isn't on the country's starving, intensely poor and repressed citizens.
Here are 7 recent Western-made films in which North Korea plays a significant role.
- Die Another Day (2002): In this Pierce Brosnan-era 007 instalment, James Bond gets mixed up in the twisty connections between a rogue North Korean military outfit and a diamond mogul.
- Team America: World Police (2004): A musical farce from the creators of South Park, this profane, marionette-acted comedy features the late North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, as a ridiculous, singing terrorist leader.
- Salt (2010): This spy thriller features an opening scene in which Angelina Jolie's CIA agent is tortured in North Korea.
- Red Dawn (2012): This widely panned remake of the cult 1984 action film casts North Koreans in the place of the U.S.-invading Soviet paratroopers of the original.
- The Defector: Escape from North Korea (2012): Korean-Canadian director Ann Shin tracks a group of North Korean women who flee their homeland and navigate the dangerous, black-market world of human smuggling in hopes of escaping for good.
- Camp 14: Total Control Zone (2012): German filmmaker Marc Wiese's noted documentary tells the story of Shin Dong-Huyk, who famously escaped the brutal North Korean prison and hard labour camp where he was born to political prisoners and raised his entire life.
- Olympus Has Fallen (2013): North Korean guerrillas take over the White House and kidnap the U.S. president in this average action film.