I think Josh Brolin is a fantastic actor, he eases into his characters and naturally gives them an overwhelming sense of purpose and oozes confidence, he brings a charm and energy to his roles, and if he is in a film, then it gives me reason to check it out.
See, I was dead against Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy when it was first announced, still am, but once I heard Brolin would be taking on the role played so effortlessly by Choi Min-sik in the original, I began to take notice, even became a little curious. Then the gorgeous and incredibly talented Elizabeth Olsen joined as the female lead, and eventually Sharlto Copley was announced this week as the lead villain, suddenly deep down I actually want to see it. Don’t get me wrong, I am still against the idea of a remake, but the cast is shaping up nicely.
Brolin was recently interviewed at a press conference for Men in Black 3, and he was asked about Oldboy. I think you’ll find his responses very encouraging:
When asked about his thoughts on the remake, Brolin said:
“Oldboy? Literally you say Oldboyand my stomach just goes Grrrrrr [mimics twisting and turning].Oldboy will be an experience, man. It wont be like Men In Black, I’ll tell you that much. I’m really happy about it. We’ve gotten amazing actors: Liz Olsen, who I think is fantastic and we also got Sharlto Copley from District 9 who I think is going to be unbelievable. He just wrote me an e-mail and was like, ‘Look, I’ve got to get this out of the way. Dude, Goonies is my favorite film of all time,’ which I thought was really sweet. And now I’m going to make 20 years of your life miserable.”
I like Brolin’s sense of fun with Copley here, and it sounds like the actors will be off to a good start in terms of getting on, which will no doubt help the film, but what about Brolin’s thoughts about how director of the original, Park Chan-wook, would take the news of a remake:
“I love Oldboy and I’m close with Chan-wook Park and I emailed him a couple months ago, just asking for his blessing to do this movie because if he had said ‘No,’ I wouldn’t have done it. But I really respect his movie and we’ll make a little different movie and this whole idea of a more Hollywood version of it? Whatever. We’re just going to make a different version but have respect to the initial story and premise. I’m looking forward to it, man. I’m talking about it nervously right now because it makes me nervous.”
Those of you who have seen the original will no doubt remember the classic hallway fight scene where Oh Dae-su takes on about 30 men, fighting with bats and hammers. It is a gruelling, savage scene, and Brolin confirms this scene will definitely be in the remake, as will the infamous octopus scene:
“Yes, by the way. Yes. And it’s a hammer and knife and all that stuff. And then will we keep the octopus, will we keep the other stuff? There’s some changes but I think it’s really good. It still makes me throw down the script half way through. Whoa.”
Its good to read just how nervous Brolin is, which means he will definitely want to do the original justice. I am still un-decided about this remake, for now, it is the cast that is selling it for me. Time will tell, and the film is expected to go into production this October.
By Matt Wavish