After being away from theatrical filmmaking for 3 years, several projects seem to have come along at once for Spike Lee. This morning we told you that Lee was beginning his first day of principal photography on a new film called Red Hook Summer. Now, a couple hours ago, it was confirmed that Lee, who was in talks to direct the long gestating remake of Oldboy, has been confirmed for the job.
For those who don’t know, Oldboy is a Korean thriller directed by Park Chan Wook and is the second instalment in his thematically linked Vengeance trilogy. The story concerns a man who is mysteriously imprisoned for 15 years and then escapes to wreak revenge on those who wronged him. The story is insanely complex and very heavy going. It’s R-rated fare but a remake will likely displease fans of the original.
I’m not a huge fan of the film, despite some extraordinary set pieces and unmatched visual imagination. I think the film is massively flawed and a touch too long. That being said, Spike Lee is an interesting director to take on an Oldboy remake. He isn’t the obvious choice, which is refreshing. His unique style will be branded on the product and will serve as an interesting companion piece to the original film.
The film is set up at Mandate Pictures with one of the I Am Legend co-writers, Mark Protosevich, penning the screenplay. The remake was originally attempted to be brought to life in 2008 with Will Smith and Steven Spielberg behind it, that version is now seemingly gone and Lee and Protosevich will work on a new adaptation to bring to the screen. No other details are available yet but we’ll keep you posted.