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Oh boy. Hollywood still insists on remaking Chan-wook Park’s hyper violent “Oldboy”. Why? Because they’re Hollywood, that’s why, and why go the original route when you could just remake some Asian movie only a few people in America have seen? Hey, it worked for Martin Scorsese, and he won Oscars! Anyways, Variety has a (awesome or horrid, depending on your perspective) article on how Steven Spielberg is looking to secure remake rights to Chan-wook Park’s “Oldboy”, with Will Smith in talks to star should the deal come through. Now at first this may seem like a really, really bad idea, but I think it’s pretty clear by now that Will Smith can act and Steven Spielberg can direct. So are we looking at another “Infernal Affairs”/”The Departed” here? One can only hope.
In the 2003 Korean original, a man gets kidnapped and held in a shabby cell for 15 years without explanation. Suddenly, he’s released and given money, a cell phone and clothes and is set on a path to discover who destroyed his life so he can take revenge.
Spielberg had been looking for an opportunity to make a film with Smith, who would play the kidnapped man if all the pieces fall into place. Spielberg is looking for a writer to begin the development process.
Like I said, on the face of it, this looks like a very bad idea, but so did Scorsese remaking “Infernal Affairs”, and for my money the remake actually turned out better than the original. With a good cast (and you’re bound to get a pretty good cast with Spielberg behind the camera and Smith in the lead) and a very good director, I could totally dig this “Oldboy” remake.
Now, the one thing you have to keep in mind is this: Yes, they are going to remake this movie. Sooner or later, they’re going to do it, and someone in Korea is going to sell them the remake rights. Why? Because producers are businessmen, and producers hold the movie rights, and they’re going to see dollar signs and the idea of selling their movie to a man like Spielberg, with his worldwide reputation, will be too much to resist. If they resist at all, I mean. The bragging rights alone would be too much for the producers to say No to.
So, with a remake pending, who would you rather do the deed? Someone like Scorsese or Spielberg, with their wealth of talent, or someone like Justin Lin, who was last attached to direct the remake, and whose last movies were “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” and “Annapolis”? This is no knock on Lin, but I think it makes my point: It’s going to be remade, whether we like it or not, so isn’t this the best case scenario?
Below: “Hey, Will Smith, it’s hammer time!”