Among other things, the past few months of Oldboy‘s development have been marked with the constant mention of Christian Bale‘s possible involvement, with him rumored to play the primary antagonist. Nothing was ever confirmed, but there always seemed to be a legitimate chance that he’d sign on, making Spike Lee‘s film one of his first post-Batman roles.
Twitch is now reporting, however, that Colin Firth is being pursued for the character — named Adrian — in the remake of Park Chan-wook‘s contemporary classic. It’s certainly a more unexpected choice than Bale; not only is Firth less of a marketable name, but he rarely (if ever) comes across as villainous. Last year’s other Oscar-winning male would be most people’s first choice to carry an intimidating presence. Regardless of characterization, he is a wonderful actor; it’s just not a name that comes to mind for the film.
Depending on how much Mark Protosevich sticks to Chan-wook‘s film, he’s probably going to do some very, very evil things to Josh Brolin‘s character. But the original portrayed him as a villain with some purpose — some school-based conflicts led to years of simmering hatred — and that might be what I want them to retain the most. We know Firth can do a complex character, so shortchanging him in favor of something else would be a waste in terms of both compelling drama and a potentially strong turn.
Would you like to see Colin Firth ruin Josh Brolin’s life?