So, Um, Yea…Spike Lee is Remaking Park Chan-Wook’s Oldboy

 
 

I was reluctant to post anything on this story until things became a bit more ‘firm.’ But they have indeed solidified in the past week according to Variety. Spike Lee is going to direct another adaptation of the Japanese Manga made famous by South Korean director Park Chan-Wook’s visceral highly-cinematic and much lauded (it won the Grand Prize Jury Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival) adaptation which ended up as one of the more famous films to come out of the South Korean film-boom in the early half of the aughties; and the middle chapter of the directors much lauded ‘Vengeance Trilogy.’

Having seen what Lee can do with the pure genre grind with the fabulous Inside Man, and having less attachment to Old Boy as many in the fan boy film community seem to, (I am partial to Sympathy For Lady Vengeance myself) I am quite keen to see what Lee brings to the table on this. Will the squid eating sequence remain? The controversial plot twist survive in all its icky-glory? It shall be a while until this hits any screen and judging by several derailments of this project in the past, there is certainly no guarantee it will ever hit the big screen. Colour me interested…

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Tum Tum Tyranus
Guest

“Can the [heavy-handed directing] of [28] years be put to use? ….. No, …. it can’t”

Andrew James
Admin

Wasn’t Spielberg remaking this at one point with Will Smith?

Though it was supposed to be more of a faithful adaptation of the manga rather than a actual remake of the film (i.e. semantics).

CS
Guest

As a fan of the film, I am interested in seeing what Spike Lee can do with the material. Like you mentioned he did a great job with Inside Man and has shown in his other films that he can handle different genres. Also, it is not like they got Woody Allen or Todd Phillips to adapt the film. I think too many people online are quick to dismiss film projects, especially remakes, based on one or two announcements. I kind of miss the days when people waited for the film to actually come out before they passed judgment on it. Plus, of all the films in the Vengeance Trilogy, Oldboy is easily the most adaptable film for North American audiences.

Tum Tum Tyranus
Guest

Really? I’d say it’s the least adaptable of the 3.

I’m all for remakes but I look at Spike Lee’s work (Do the Right Thing, Summer of Sam, etc.) and I just can’t see him doing this film justice. Could he prove me wrong? Maybe. Again, I’m cool with remakes but for me to be excited for one, it has to have a director that seems suited for the project. Ex. David Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Tum Tum Tyranus
Guest

@Andrew – Yeah, the Spielberg Oldboy has been scrapped a long time now. Along with the Justin Lin Oldboy & the Charlize Theron Lady Vengeance.

Tom Clift
Guest

I kind of hope Lee doesn’t stick too closely to Chan-Wook’s original. I’m big fan of the film, so I don’t have much interest in just seeing it played out again in English. But I guess the themes of the film/manga (?) are interesting enough that they could mine something else good out of it.

Tum Tum Tyranus
Guest

SEMI SPOILERS

Apparently the studio wants Josh Brolin to play the lead in this remake, which I admit is pretty decent casting. I’m wondering if they’re taking into account actor attractiveness when casting as that’s something I thought the original got right. Park cast his characters to look plain and not attractive to make sure the audience reacted the way he wanted them to (disgusted and shocked, not turned on). It’s something that never gets talked about when discussing Oldboy — usually people are too busy praising the long take — but I think it’s worth bringing up especially since this is a Hollywood remake. That’s part of why I think Brolin is decent casting, he’s photogenic but not hot. A nice compromise and I’m sure they’ll dirty him up. Personally, I’m more interested to see who they cast as the female lead.

My picks: Mia Wasikowska, Alison Pill, Olivia Thirlby, or Jenna Malone