Sometimes a film project’s history is as interesting as the movie itself. Oldboy was a Japanese Manga that became a critically acclaimed south korean mystery film directed by Park Chan-wook. When it won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival it was inevitable that an american remake would likely follow. Surprisingly, a proposed remake was announced in 2008 and none other than Steven Spielberg was slated to direct with box office superstar Will Smith in the lead role. When the original filmmakers sued Dreamworks for rights violation. The project was halted. Another production with Nicolas Cage in the lead was later announced. But that project also never got started.
Finally, in 2012, the american version of OldBoy was greenlit with Josh Brolin in the lead and up and coming actors Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copely co-starring. Samuel L. Jackson was also announced as key member of the cast.
It’s hard to make of an American remake of a critically acclaimed film. Especially one that was as well executed as the original OldBoy. Complicating matters is that the original film was notorious for its shocking and heartbreaking reveal. With audiences as savvy as they are now it’s doubtful that many people will go into this remake without knowing the shocking twist at the end.
But I have faith in the quality of the story. As well as the talent behind this project. Sure the film is going to suffer by comparison. But Spike Lee is the kind of director which can put a unique spin on a known story, much like Martin Scorsese did with his film The Departed, which was based on the Japanese film Infernal Affairs.
Oldboy stars Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sarlto Copley, Michael Imperioli, Hannah Ware and Samuel L. Jackson. The film is directed by Spike Lee. It is written by Mark Protosevich based on the manga written by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi. OldBoy is scheduled for release October 25, 2013.
OLDBOY is a provocative, visceral thriller that follows the story of an advertising executive (Josh Brolin) who is abruptly kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.
Co-starring Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley, OLDBOY was directed by Spike Lee, from a script by Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, The Cell, Thor). The film was produced by Roy Lee, Doug Davison and Nathan Kahane.