Will Smith's Oldboy is Actually Based on the Graphic Novel
When the news first hit two weeks ago that Will Smith and Steven Spielberg were remaking Chan-wook Park's Oldboy, the reaction was severe. "Worst idea ever," they cried out. "Just leave it alone and come up with another story." Well it seems we might not need to be so worried after all, as the guys over at Film School Rejects ran into Will Smith earlier today and were able to get some much needed clarification about the project. Smith said that they're not actually looking at remaking Park's film, instead they're going all the way back to the original source material - the Japanese manga that Park's film was based on. Huh?
"There's the original comics of Oldboy that they made the first film from. And that's what we're working from, not an adaptation of the film," Smith told the Rejects. Oldboy is actually based on a manga series written by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya. It was first published in 1996, well before Chan-wook Park's 2003 cinematic adaptation. Much like the live-action Akira in the works, this American version is drawing specifically from those comics rather than the movie that we're all much more familiar with. But will that mean Spielberg and Smith's version will be that much different from the original anyway?
Dark Horse Comics recently translated the manga and brought it to America (you can pick up some volumes of it on Amazon). However, it's apparently quite similar to the film itself: "The same scene is shown from different angles; the same focus is approached or departed from in ever closer or more distant panels that mimic moving-camera effects; and the degree and sources of light in the panels vary dramatically." However great the differences may indeed be, it sounds like we won't be seeing a direct remake of Park's Oldboy film, which might be quite a big relief to some. Does this make any difference to you?