Earlier this month we reported that Spike Lee’s proposed remake of Chan-wook Park’s harrowing revenge-thriller Oldboy hit another snag when Colin Firth walked away from the chance to play a calculating villain opposite Josh Brolin, who is set for the lead, a man who is abducted and held prisoner for years with no idea why, then is released just as abruptly and mysteriously. This hasn’t been Lee’s first public setback on the project, as one of Lee’s first picks for part of the horrific baddie, Christian Bale, as well as his choice for the female lead, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara, both passed. But now Twitch has revealed the film’s producers have offered the twice-rejected role to the ruggedly handsome Clive Owen, who previously worked with Lee on the bank robbery thriller Inside Man.
Undoubtedly, Owen is a great choice for the role, not only because he’s most delectable when he’s bad, but also because he manages to exude menace with a smirking charisma that is electric onscreen. But it seems the real story is what may lay between the lines of all this public turnaround. It has me wondering about the worth of Lee’s remake. Maybe it’s not just issues of scheduling. Maybe the script is just bad. While Lee’s screenwriter Mark Protosevich has contributed to this summer’s Thor and wildly popular Will Smith vehicle I Am Legend, the films he’s written solo are the dismal Jennfer Lopez drama The Cell and the forgettable boat-sinking adventure Poseidon. Simply put, I’m seeing red flags, movie fans.
Would you like to see Clive Owen as Old Boy’s baddie? Do you agree that all this actor bailing may be because of a dismal script?