Film News: Josh Brolin Signs on For Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Remake
CHICAGO – If a remake of the 2003 Korean film “Oldboy” didn’t look like it was going to happen, it sure does now. After Spike Lee had signed on to direct the Americanized remake a few weeks ago, just yesterday Empire reported that Josh Brolin has signed on to play the lead character.
The original “Oldboy,” one of the biggest films to come out of Korea in the last ten years, is the story of Dae-su (the part Brolin will play), a man who is kidnapped on his daughter’s birthday and held captive for fifteen years. Upon his release, he seeks revenge on his captor and everyone else involved in the time and family he lost while being held. After being released he befriends a female chef who helps him along his path to finding the man who took fifteen years away from him.
The original “Oldboy” is the second film in a trilogy of vengeance films from Korean director Park Chan-wook (“Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” and “Lady Vengeance” make up the rest of the trilogy). An “Oldboy” remake has been in the works for some time, originally bought by Steven Spielberg, who was going to direct with Will Smith as the lead at one point.
Unfortunately for die hard “Oldboy” fans, rumor going around is that the remake will resemble what “The Departed” did for “Infernal Affairs;” that is the core story will remain the same, but around a quarter of the film’s narrative will be changed to appeal to American audiences. A.V. Club probably stated it best without giving anything away when they said the new film would “scrub out some of the more infamously uncomfortable, salacious elements in order to make it more palatable to American audiences. So in other words, no more fried dumplings. American audiences just aren’t ready for all the fried dumplings.”
The Brolin casting is just the first of many important characters for the new “Oldboy,” and rumors have surfaced that say Christian Bale may sign on as the villain in the Spike Lee remake. Keep posted to HollywoodChicago.com for updates on the film’s casting as the news comes in.
By TIM MARTENS