Spike Lee’s Oldboy Starts Casting!

Remakes. Sometimes good, and sometimes completely unnecessary, unwanted, and absolutely dreaded. Movies that stand alone as their particular works of art, which cannot plausibly be recreated to contain the same zest and epic-ness as the original. I’m talking about the upcoming American remake of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy.

The original manga was turned into the amazing adaptation and is actually the middle part of a series called The Vengeance Trilogy. It is a cult hit that has a huge following, so of course Hollywood wants to bastardize and make money off it. They are bringing in a talented director to helm it with Spike Lee, but still I dread.

This is me dreading…

Then they started making casting announcements. First we heard rumors that Josh Brolin had been offered the main role, which was formerly played by Choi Min-sik. Then supposedly an offer was out to Colin Firth, to presumably play the movie’s villain. This all came from discussion on the script which Splashpage has more on:

The only news about the story and how it would relate to the two pieces of source material came from talk of Mark Protosevich’s script. The new version will pull from both the manga and the movie, but that’s as specific as the news got.

But now, producer Roy Lee sat down with Collider and opened up about the changes Protosevich is making, hoping to play to fans who are familiar with the story.

“Mark Protosevich has come up with new elements to it that will throw off the audience who have seen the original movie because there are new characters and new situations that present themselves in a way that changes the story but eventually go in the same direction,” Lee said.

As for the controversial ending, Lee says that the new version won’t pull any punches: “The ending will be something that the audiences will all be…especially the fans of the original will be very happy with. In fact, some may consider it to be a bit darker.”

I won’t spoil the ending, but its hard to get darker than that was. Then the casting call kept moving forward, and allegedly offered the villain role to Christian Bale, who turned it down. So the third choice looks to be Clive Owen. CinemaBlend reports:

Twitch has learned that Owen is now the new name that has been offered the chance to play the antagonist in Oldboy. While Josh Brolin is attached to play the lead, the project has been having a hard time attracting stars, as Rooney Mara also turned down the chance to star in the movie. Should Owen take the part, it will be the second time that he has worked with Spike Lee, as they made Inside Man together back in 2006.

So that’s not terrible news. I don’t mind Owen and if Brolin is taking the lead they would certainly have a very epic face-off. And for the final piece of casting news we get the announcement that the female lead may have been offered to… well, I’ll let CinemaBlend field this one:

Now the casting wheel is spinning once again. Twitch says The Kids Are All Right star Mia Wasikowska has been offered the lead female role opposite Brolin in Lee’s remake. Coincidentally, Wasikowska just wrapped work on Park’s first English-language picture, Stoker, about a young girl whose strange uncle shows up days after her father dies.

Very interesting, and could turn into a great bit of casting. But all of this still leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. It all leads back to my thoughts on this remake.

Unnecessary. Unwanted. Dreaded. When I watched Oldboy it was the first time in a long time that a movie actually moved me. And I’m not talking about the english-dubbed version, you really need to go with subtitles for this to capture the emotion of the actors. It was a movie I shared with my friends, a beautiful little treasure I kept around to enlighten others with.

And now its going to be turned into yet another pointless and more than likely shitty remake. Will I see it? Yes. Because you can’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. But it will never take the place of the original, and i think I’m not the only one who feels that way.

We’ll keep you updated on this film as news comes, and hopefully my dread turns to hope, possibly even relief. If not, I will turn to vengeance, something the original taught me all about.

Believe it…

3 thoughts on “Spike Lee’s Oldboy Starts Casting!”

  1. You should already have some hope in that it’s Spike Lee and not Michael Bay :-p

    The original is one of my favourite films of all time, I hope he can make it different enough as to not tarnish my memory of it. A lesser director would throw out the incest but I think Spike may keep it…


  2. Lee would be the one saving grace, but I’m still skeptical that an American audience will take to the movie like so many have with the original. Time will tell I suppose…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.