Spike Lee’s upcoming remake of Oldboy has everyone wondering if he can top the original. But perhaps we’re asking the wrong question. It seems that Park Chan-Wook, the director of the original Oldboy, is more worried about what he can add to it. In a recent Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), Lee stated that Josh Brolin (who stars in the remake) went to receive Chan-Wook’s blessing before beginning work on the project. Chan-Wook reportedly told Brolin, “You and Spike make your own film, don’t remake ours.”
This comment seems to imply a bit of hesitation on Chan-Wook’s part. I’m not surprised by this either, as many of Hollywood’s remakes of late have done little to add to the originals, and a bad remake can do a lot of harm to the original’s reputation (The Producers, anyone?).
For the sake of all of the film lovers out there, let’s hope that Brolin and Lee heeded Chan-Wook’s advice, and tried to add something new to the film, avoiding the creation of a straight remake. From the looks of the trailer, it would seem Lee has done a lot to add his own visual flair to the tale, and many plot points (from what I could tell) have been tweaked or re-imagined. Add Josh Brolin to the mix, and this could easily be a film that honors the original, but still has its own story to tell. Here’s hoping it tells it well. For now, I’m cautiously optimistic.
Are you excited for the new Oldboy, or do you share Park Chan-Wook’s reservations? Let us know in the comment section below.
Oldboy is directed by Spike Lee and stars Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson, and Elizabeth Olson. It is scheduled for a November 27th release.