First there was Steven Spielberg and Will Smith, but then — with the exception of a rumored name here or there — the proposed American remake of Oldboy seemed dead. Park Chan-wook‘s violent revenge tale felt like something that wouldn’t make its way to American theaters in a new version, and we would simply have the original South Korean film for the rest of our days. Not a bad option for many people, as it’s become a favorite of the revenge genre since it saw a release in 2004.
But it may live on, and Twitch has heard that the man now being talked to about helming it is none other than Spike Lee. The director of classics like Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and 25th Hour, he’s an unusual choice for the job. Most — if not all — of his movies have racial politics thrown into them, and it’s something that he very purposely integrates into his work. We don’t know much about the script by Mark Protosevich, other than Smith saying a few years ago that it’s much more in line with the original manga than the first adaptation. I don’t know too much about the source material, but I still don’t see how Lee’s trademark elements could be implemented in this story. There’s also no word on who might star, but Smith hasn’t been mentioned as being out of the lead role just yet.
There’s also a good chance that this is him doing a “one for them” kind of film, which, as is generally stipulated in Hollywood, leads to a director getting “one for me.” His last feature was the flop Miracle at St. Anna, and not only might this allow him to jump back into directing, it could also lead to him doing projects he’s truly interested in again. That, to me, would make him directing this a somewhat more understandable proposition. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also an extremely gifted filmmaker; it obviously gives this remake some more promise, too.
Do you think Spike Lee is the right person to direct the Oldboy remake? Do you have any interest in seeing this movie actually get made?