The rumours of an Oldboy remake have been circulating for a long long time now. At one point Steven Spielberg was apparently involved! However, thankfully, the rumours never came true and the second tale in Park Chan-Wooks classic revenge trilogy never came to be. I was able to sleep at night as the rumours drifted off into the night and hadn’t surfaced for a while. See, I love Oldboy, I love Sympathy For Mr Vengeance and, while it was the weakest, Lady Vengeance was not all that bad. But Oldboy is a true classic, a gut wrenching film that delivers blow after blow of vicious violence and emotional turmoil. It is, for want of a better word, a perfect film. Even today, after multiple viewings, that end has me babbling like a feckin new born child who’s hungry. It gets me every time, which is why todays news has angered me.
Spike feckin Lee is in talks with Mandate about directing the remake, set to be written by Mark Protesevich (I Am Legend) and produced by Doug Davison and Roy Lee. I have nothing against Spike Lee, he has made some very good films (Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X,Inside Man, Clockers, Summer of Sam and 25th Hour) but I am sorry, I just don’t see this working. Maybe it’s my love of Oldboy, and my often detest at pointless remakes that has got my back up, but I just can’t see Oldboy working as a US made film (sorry Us, nothing against you, but its just how I feel). I could be proved wrong, I mean, Matt Reeves proved me wrong with Let Me In, which was a fine remake, although far too soon.
My rant is about to get worse. Now, since Will Smith was rumoured to be playing the iconic role of Oh Dae-su, nothing has since been mentioned, so I guess he’s not interested. However, after turning down a potentially massive lead role in Tarantino’s Django Unchained, there must be something else Will Smith is getting set to work on? It’s all speculation, but I am sure Spike Lee would have had Will Smith in mind? So this again makes me a bit angry, see, as with Spike Lee, I have nothing against Will Smith. I find him a very bankable and very easy actor to watch,his choice in films improve year on year and, Christ, I would tend to watch a film based on the fact he was in it. However, Smith as the hammer wielding, octopus eating, tongue tearing fucked up Oh Dae-su?? Have a look at the following two pictures and tell me which is scarier!
By Matt Wavish