Oldboy Remake Has Park Chan-Wook’s Blessing, And A Hammer Fight

It’s been said before (often by me) that Spike Lee’s remake of Park Chan-wook’s revenge thriller “Oldboy” is completely unnecessary. There’s really no point arguing for or against, because like it or not, the film is happening. I’m still going to be skeptical about it until I see the finished product on screen, but at least it sounds like they’re keeping some of the key and most memorable pieces from the original.

Hip deep in a press junket for “Men In Black 3”, “Oldboy” star Josh Brolin was asked about the project. In addition to confirming that Elizabeth Olson (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”) and Sharlto Copley (“District 9”) are in fact in the cast, Brolin let a couple other bits slip. First is that Park gave his blessing to the remake, and in fact, Brolin wouldn’t come on board without it. While a seal of approval like this doesn’t automatically give “Oldboy” a free pass, it is a nice touch, one that shows a reverence for the source material.

Secondly, filming for “Oldboy” will begin in October. Lastly, and perhaps most important to fans of the original, Lee’s version of “Oldboy” will retain the iconic hammer fight. In Park’s film, protagonist Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) has to battle his way down a tight corridor, through a seemingly endless supply of goons, armed only with a hammer. It is freaking epic.

Here’s what Brolin had to say:

Oldboy? Literally you say Oldboy and 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 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.

And when asked about the hammer fight and other moments fans can’t imagine making it past American censors:

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.

As much as I don’t want to, the more news that comes out about the “Oldboy” remake, the more I feel a twinge of excitement build inside. I have to temper that, but at least Lee is not shy about stirring up controversy, and “Oldboy” may be a perfect opportunity to make some noise. If nothing else, it is obvious from these comments that Brolin is a fan, and that if there must be a remake, it looks to be in as good a hands as possible.

Via : /Film