Now that Spike Lee has officially signed on to direct the Oldboy remake, the project is starting to pick up steam. Mandate Pictures has announced that they will ‘Americanize’ the picture (duh!) and it will draw inspiration from both the original comic book and the Korean film.
Apparently, Spike Lee’s vision for Oldboy will turn the film into something similar to what Martin Scorsese did with The Departed. Twitch Film says that the goal is not to do a shot for shot remake, instead the film is going for a re-envisioning.
“… the goal here is not to create a slavish shot-for-shot remake but to take elements of [Chan-wook’s film] combined with elements of the manga and completely re-envision and re-contextualize those to create a specifically American story around the same concepts and themes.”
Personally, I’m not sure how Lee’s social commentary and controversy courting filmmaking will mesh with Oldboy’s dark themes of revenge and violence. I’m still a bit surprised that he landed the role and I think that while he has put out some impressive pieces of cinema, there were other directors that I would have preferred to see take the job.
Either way, I don’t think the remake will topple the original. Oldboy is one of my favorite films and although I’m stoked to see a remake, and very intrigued to see how it will be handled, the original is a classic and I don’t think it can be topped.
In further news, Twitch Film is also telling us that the studio wants Josh Brolin to take on the role that Choi Min-Sik played in the original, which was the lead role of Dae-su Oh. This isn’t confirmed as no offers have gone out yet but the studio has their eye on the actor.
Once again, I’m a bit skeptical with the choice. Josh Brolin is a talented individual who has strong screen presence, but is he able to pull off the role as effectivley as Choi Min-Sik did?
Whoever ends up taking the role, one thing is for certain. They will have big shoes to fill and many people to try and please. Fans of the original are already unhappy that the film is being remade and whoever takes the lead role will come under a lot of scrutiny.
What do you make of all this? Excited to see a remake? Content with Josh Brolin being eyed for the lead role?