Spike Lee Directing Oldboy Remake?
Update: He's signed on...
Update: Lee is no longer in talks, because he's officially signed on to direct the remake, according to the LA Times.
The mooted effort from Steven Spielberg and Will Smith eventually came to nothing, but if we must still have a new, American Oldboy, we reckon Spike Lee is at least a promising choice to direct.
Oldboy, you'll be well aware, currently exists as a hammer-wielding, octopus-bothering South Korean revenge epic, thrown raging at the screen by Park Chan-wook in 2003. It stars Choi Min-Sik as protagonist Oh Dae-su, released from a fifteen-year imprisonment and looking for some serious answers with a sharp new suit and a mobile phone, and is the middle instalment of Park's Vengeance Trilogy, in between Sympathy For Mr Vengeance and Lady Vengeance.
Lee is currently in talks with Mandate Pictures, who are attempting once again to put a package together. The script remains the one Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend) wrote for the old regime, with Roy Lee and Doug Davidson producing.
It's worth noting that technically, what's on the cards here isn't a remake of Park's film, but a new movie adapted from the original manga by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi. The comics stretch to eight volumes originally released over two years in the 1990s, and don't bear a great resemblance to the movie we already have. So bemoan the need for an American version all you like, but there is potential for a significantly different and equally valid film here, especially with the right director guiding it.
There's no word so far on whether Smith is still interested. More news as we get it.