Confirmed: Josh Brolin Now Set to Lead Spike Lee's 'Oldboy' Remake

August 29, 2011
Source: Deadline

Oldboy / Josh Brolin

Back in July there were rumblings that Josh Brolin was in very early talks to lead the gestating remake of Oldboy which just surprised everyone by getting Spike Lee to direct the film. Now Deadline says the new take on Park Chan-wook's 2003 thriller has officially cast the actor in the lead role of the remake written by Mark Protosevich (the same writer working on a new Jurassic Park with Steven Spielberg who was previously flirting with the Oldboy remake himself). Honestly, as worrisome as this remake might make fans of the original, having Lee and Brolin work on a project like this sounds more than satisfying.

Now if only Christian Bale would take on the villain role, which he's said to be considering amongst a slew of other projects, this would be one of my most anticipated films coming down the road. For those who aren't familiar with the original film, it follows a man who is kidnapped on his daughter’s birthday and held for 15 years in solitary confinement without explanation. Upon his eventual release, his only desire is to take revenge on those who destroyed his life. It's quite a brutal story, and with Lee directing and Brolin starring, plenty more big names should sign on for the project as well. Thoughts?

Find more posts: Casting, Development, Movie News



I'm totally against this needless remake. The original is a classic and has a distinct Asian feel to it, while I guarantee our version is gonna be trash. This story works much better in the Asian culture than ours.

JT on Aug 29, 2011


How so?  It's about a man imprisoned for 14 years, and embarks on a quest for revenge? What about that is exclusively "Asian?"

Christohper Exantus on Aug 30, 2011


There is tons more to the story than that. There are small nuanced things that add to the feeling of depression. I don't want to ruin the plot for people who haven't seen the film, but it has a massive Asian feel to it.

JT on Aug 30, 2011


Its a remake not a replacement the original will always be there. 

A Villa88 on Aug 31, 2011


Precisely. People seem to enjoy getting needlessly upset about these things. I mean, just look at this as a positive thing - it could lead to even more people coming to the original via all the films snobs crowing about the remake not being a patch on the source.

Chris on Aug 31, 2011


Finally, something from Lee other than court-side BS and made-for-TV crap. I feel like he's gone astray after 'When The Levees Broke' in '06 (which was tremendous).

Voice of Reason on Aug 29, 2011


Spike Lee is a disapointment to film if you ask me. And this is just a senseless remake from a waste of space in film.

GammaJAM on Aug 29, 2011


no, no, no, 5 billion times NO! Why this constant raping of foreign films to remake for the American moviegoer continues, especially after most of them just plain SUCK in comparison to the original (Let Me In might be a rare exception)...I eagerly DO NOT await the travesties like the Dragon Tattoo remakes and the American Trollhunter 🙁

Fredrick Beondo on Aug 29, 2011


Agreed! I find it sad that American audiences have to have the movies Americanized. I have found many foreign movies that are excellent and replacing the actors and everything would just make it suck.

JT on Aug 29, 2011


Spike can add some of his touch to this and it actually could be different. With the addition of Josh Brolin I think they should gel-well.

Shedpower on Aug 29, 2011


All I want to know is how spike is gonna film the classic scene in the alley, with the hammer beating he put on those guys! Classic!

jah p on Aug 30, 2011


And if this is sucessful and we know it will be, then I suspect "City of Violence" and "I Saw the Devil" are next!

jah p on Aug 30, 2011


And the 2 Sympathy movies... Fuck that! 

Anonymous on Aug 30, 2011


IF this has to be made, then Bolin is a great choice for the lead.  However, there really is no need for this movie.

Kevin on Aug 30, 2011



Dirty Dutchman on Aug 30, 2011


More importantly, the bad news here is the writer attached to the project. He wrote The Cell (horrendous dialog and characters) as well as (joy of joys) Poseidon and I Am Legend. He is a popcorn writer, and he can bang out enjoyable frippery, but he is clearly not equipped to tackle something like Old Boy. Since this will probably be a disaster, hopefully Chan-wook Park got a giant fucking cheque. 

Lebowski on Aug 30, 2011


theyrw going to destropy it arent they,just because most americans wont watch a movie with subs,some of the best movies ever made are foreign,my fave at the mo-Yellow Sea,a korean flik,amazing.

Adam Jones on Aug 30, 2011


i agree with so many people that think hollywood should find there own storys-saying that,i hope Josh Brolin eats the live octopus with the tentacles clawing up his face,ju like the origional actor,im not gonna mention his name here.

Adam Jones on Aug 30, 2011


spike lee cant direct, he will just criticize some other director, the producer or the audience when this flops.

happy camper on Aug 30, 2011


It's kind of ironic that so many people bitch about "holywood not find its own storys" when Oldboy itself is an adaptation of a japanese comic. So yeah, I'm fine with an American adaptation.

Christohper Exantus on Aug 30, 2011


An adaptation is not the same as a remake.

happy camper on Aug 30, 2011


How so?  Unless this is going to be a scene-by-scene remake, the American version itself is an adaptation.

Christohper Exantus on Aug 30, 2011


Japanese comic > Korean film adaptation > American film remake. You could say their both adaptations but film is only one form, unless they went for a animation or even stage production could you use the term "adaptation" again, film is only one art form and once the source has been originally adapted to film all subsequent productions in film are there for remakes. Whether or not they stay true to the original text or go into another direction.

happy camper on Aug 30, 2011


To be honest i'm not against american re-makes as long as they bring something new to the table.  In my opinion, Dragon Tattoo wasn't a great film in the first place. A little too tv and not nearly as tense and as cinematic as it could have been, so to have someone like fincher doing it can only be a good thing.  That said, I am a massive fan of the original Old Boy.  I saw it when I was about 17 and has stayed with me ever since.  Slick, demanding, cinematic and an ending that would be hard to stomach for any culture.  I'm not a great spike lee fan but he is a world apart from the style and aesthetic achieved by Park Chan Wook and that can only be a good thing in the hope of getting something that stands on it's own two feet.  Will it be as gritty. No. Will it be as visually inventive/striking. No.  Will it have live Octopus eating.  Hopefully but probably not....Now who's for a remake of Battle Royal and or Audition.

Harrisj2k on Aug 30, 2011


FOR THE LAST TIME IT IS NOT A BLOODY REMAKE! it is an adaptation of the JAPANESE comic which will be alot less graphic than the Korean original (i.e minus the incest as none of that took place in the comic). I liked the take on 'Let Me In' even if it was close to the original as well as the source material and this could end up in the same vein. Lets face it, alot of the audience of todays cinema probably didn't see Park's original because they couldn't handle subtitles (being skeptical here) and it will be a more interesting picture to watch rather than 'Die Hard 5' or  'Final Destination 201'. As an English actor I don't even want to say how many Shakespeare adaptation's there have been, in various dialects, over the last 30 years, in cinema as well as stage and some have been nice adaptations worth comparison. I'm not looking forward to The Crow adaptation as I think that horse got flogged to death with the TV shows and pointless sequels (and the original is still Proyas best film next to Dark City) but this adaptation may work, if Bale say's yes to the bad guy I feel like good things could come out of it. Scorsese did 'The Departed' and barley anyone blinked an eyelid and said " hey Infernal Affairs!.

WushuChild on Aug 30, 2011


FOR THE LAST TIME IT IS A BLOODY REMAKE. Read the article man, the American version is a remake of the Korean manga adaptation. Also the comic is not very good, so I hope it follows the Korean movie.

JT on Aug 30, 2011


I dislike most of the foreign film remakes, I have no problems reading subtitles! That being said, here's a little secret, NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO WATCH ANYTHING!!!! I love old boy, I'll watch LEE's version and if I dont like it, I'll REWATCH the original! Isnt that a crazy thought? wow..choices!! Its not like the original foreign version disappears or is replaced. go find something real to bitch about..

Lando on Aug 30, 2011


You obviously fail to understand why people are mad about foreign remakes. The movie is unnecessary and just because Americans are too damn lazy to read subtitles doesn't mean we need to remake all foreign films.

JT on Aug 30, 2011


And most of the times a remake sucks compared to the original. It's sad when nowadays directors choose to redo something that has already been done. In this way there will only be a handful of directors that choose to do something truly original, fresh and new. We're not bitching about remakes, we're bitching about the degradation of film making itself. Imagine a world where we have no choice but to re-watch old films or to watch recycled flicks. OK, maybe that's a bit drastic, but you get my point. We need more films like Inception...

Anonymous on Aug 31, 2011



Anonymous on Aug 30, 2011

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