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

Author: Brent McKnight

Brent McKnight lives in Seattle with his dogs. He likes beards, movies where things explode, and overcast skies. His three favorite movies are "Rubin and Ed", "A Bittersweet Life", and "Out for Justice". He wishes his knees didn't hurt. On Twitter @BrentMMcKnight
  • Peace through Jazz

    Of course Park Chan-Wook gave his blessing on “Old Boy.” After all, just like every other remake that Hollywood does of foreign films, the director gets a nice pay check and will then receive excellent praise in his native country because Hollywood is remaking his film. So “giving” a blessing is a no-brainer when you’ll get high amounts of praise and a nice amount of money for Hollywood remaking your work.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      That’s not always the case at all. Original directors of remade films don’t ALWAYS get paid. Oftentimes they don’t see a dime unless they have producer stakes in the movie, and that’s rare. Most directors on movies are hired help just like the actors.

      • Peace through Jazz

        @Nix – Sincere question for you; Original directors of remade films not getting paid, is that also the case for foreign directors? Just curious.

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

          It’s the same everywhere. The guy who fronts the money takes the most risks, so it’s only fair he gets to live off the profits from that movie for years and decades to come.

          • Peace through Jazz

            @Nix – Okay, cool. I see how it works now in terms of finances. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

            On the flip side, I did read somewhere a while back that these foreign directors get some great praise once their film gets remade by Hollywood. Although their not getting money, at least their getting some good recognition in their native country. (at least that’s what I read).

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

            I’m sure that’s true as well. Like it or not, Hollywood is the giant of the industry, and by which most countries measure their products. If Hollywood wants to remake your film, it can be a really big ego boost. The creativity aspect of it, well, that’s another matter…

  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

    Good to hear on both parts. I’m sure this will be very different and yet still very good! Cast sounds great.

  • Goonies never say die :D

    I love Josh Brolin, but I honestly cannot imagine him in this role. To be fair, I can’t imagine anyone other than Choi Min-sik as Oh Dae-su. That man is ridiculously talented.

    It boggles my mind though- movies should only be remade if the original is flawed or out-of-date (and sometimes not even then, eh, Clash of the Titans?). Oldboy is still incredibly edgy- the story *and* the cinematography. Is it because it was made in the “wrong” language and people can’t be arsed reading subtitles? Is it because of the “big secret”? I’m fairly sure that particular detail’s going to be changed in the Hollywood version. I can’t imagine what they would replace it with that would make 15 years of imprisonment seem “justifiable”.

    Yes, I know it’s happening regardless of what I feel or think, but it makes my heart & head hurt so nyar.

    • Peace through Jazz

      @Goonies never say die:D

      I agree with you! Like you said, “Movie should only be remade if the original is flawed or out-of-date.”
      I couldn’t have said it better myself. But you and I both know the truth here. Hollywood is all about money. They know a good idea and a good film when they see one. Sadly they only have dollar signs in their eyes. It’s like you said, to them (and many viewers in the USA) it’s in the “wrong” language. So they know they can just remake it and BOOM – money is made, whether a lot of money or just a quick buck.

      Sometimes it even reaches a whole new level of cow manure (B.S.) with films that rip-off other foreign films (Hunger Games and Battle Royale).

      Sadly, (and very unfortunately) that’s how it works. But what is even worse is that there are always people who love playing devils-advocate and purposely arguing with you or I just because they don’t like the truth.

  • Lee123

    Damn, I can’t wait to see it lol, I don’t like remakes in general but they happen so I won’t judge it until I actually see it. Im just glad its not Spielberg, Spike Lee has a cool visual style and I think it might actually be decent, also, I’ll take Josh Brolin over Will Smith any day of the week as Oh-Dae Su, remake or not Im sure it will be entertaining to say the least.