Spike Lee is currently the director of choice for the long-awaited remake of Oldboy. According to Twitch, Lee is in talks to direct the Hollywood version of Park Chan-Wook’s thrilling tale of revenge.
Rumors of a remake have been circulating for years, starting not long after the Korean Oldboy was released and won the Gran Prix award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. In 2008 word started spreading of a possible American version, with both Steven Spielberg and Will Smith rumored to be involved.
Now it finally looks like the remake will happen, with Doug Davison and Roy Lee of Mandate producing. The script will be penned by I Am Legend screenwriter Mark Protosevich.
No word on whether Spielberg or Smith will be involved as of yet, and their earlier attempt at making Oldboy more palatable to Western audiences centered on their version not being a remake but a re-envisioning, based on the source material.
I’m not sure what Lee’s style can bring to Oldboy, especially when he’s a director most known for his films’ political and social statements. The original Oldboy was based on a action-noir manga, and from what I’ve seen of Lee’s work I’m not sure he’ll be able to deliver a satisfying, agenda-free, blood-spattered thriller.
The story of Oldboy surrounds a man who has been imprisoned for 15 years for some reason he doesn’t know. When he is released, he determines to discover who imprisoned him and why, and to get his revenge. Some of the more memorable scenes in Oldboy certainly aren’t for the faint of heart, and its violence is matched by the disturbing storyline.
If you’ve seen Oldboy let us know in the comments what you think of Spike Lee directing a remake.