Confirmed: Spike Lee Will Be Directing the Upcoming 'Oldboy' Remake
"What I am isn't important. WHY is important." Twitch is reporting a scoop that Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, 25th Hour, Inside Man, Miracle at St Anna) is now in talks to direct the remake of Park Chan-wook's 2003 cult classic Oldboy. This is the same remake that originally had Will Smith attached, but has since gone through revisions and reboots. This new iteration is now said to be set up at Mandate Pictures with Doug Davison & Roy Lee producing. Writing the script is Mark Protosevich, a screenwriter credited for work on I Am Legend, the story in Thor, and the rumored Jurassic Park IV screenplay as well.
Oldboy is one of those sacred classics that probably shouldn't be touched, and I remember that even though Steven Spielberg was rumored to be in the mix, many fans still didn't want a Hollywood remake. I can only guess that Spike Lee is not going to be a more satisfying choice. I think he's a good director, he's done some great work and will probably do a very good job with this project, I just personally prefer that Oldboy not be remade at all. For now, we'll have to wait and hear if this does come together with Spike Lee, who he casts (if not Will Smith), and how the story is being updated for US audiences. I'm most concerned about the latter.
Update: It has been confirmed via official press release from Mandate Pictures that Spike Lee is indeed directing their Oldboy remake. "It's a great honor to put this special project into the hands of such a gifted writer and iconic director," said Mandate President Nathan Kahane. The film is a Vertigo Entertainment/40 Acres & A Mule Production. No other new information was provided besides this confirmation.