Confirmed: Spike Lee Will Be Directing the Upcoming 'Oldboy' Remake

July 5, 2011
Source: Twitch

Oldboy / Spike Lee

"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.

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NO!!! NO NO NO!!! 

Armeetapus16 on Jul 6, 2011


Eh. Wasn't a big fan of the original mostly due to the fact that one of my friends kept overhyping it like a complete idiot. He pretty much ruined the side scrolling fight scene too....

Chris Amaya on Jul 6, 2011


lol, Mark Protosevich...good god. I think Spike Lee could be interesting for this though, as much as I would hate to see a remake. but you know it's gonna happen eventually, so ya..... but please no Will Smith.

Anonymous on Jul 6, 2011


No! Please no! God No!!! Why??? Why god? Why? DO NOT WANT!!!

Alex, The Real Alex... on Jul 6, 2011


I can see spike lee having the balls to at least keep the story intact and not desensitize it like they had in mind for the first go around. My moneys on clive owen for who he wants as his lead.

Christopher Carpenter on Jul 6, 2011


The lead has to be  a black man, remember this is  Spike Lee we are talking about.

CromWewe on Jul 6, 2011


Clive Owen did a heist movie with Spike Lee.. can't remember the name but it was pretty good

Staatz on Jul 6, 2011


Inside Job or Inside Man, and that was fun but I thought Denzel was the lead?

Matthew Richards on Jul 6, 2011


Clive Owen was the robber, Denzel was the cop

Staatz on Jul 7, 2011


ummmmmm 25th Hour had Ed Norton as the lead and Summer if Sam had John Leguizamo as the lead so just STFU

Chad Stultz on Jul 7, 2011


ummmmmm 25th Hour had Ed Norton as the lead and Summer if Sam had John Leguizamo as the lead so just STFU

Chad Stultz on Jul 7, 2011


NO NO NO NO NO! Seriously, fuck that, fuck that hard. Don't you dare touch Oldboy, I love that film and I would literally cry if they remade it. Especially with Lee.

S Christian Roe on Jul 6, 2011


Idris Elba would be a good choice. Love the original movie not read the manga.

Loser on Jul 6, 2011


If they want to make it more suitable for US audiences, i think they should make it more true to the manga than the film version.

rocdabell on Jul 6, 2011


Spike Lee will probably cast Tyler Perry as the lead.

JP on Jul 6, 2011


why do they keep remaking things? come up with your own feckin ideas! your gettin paid enough!!! us, the normal everyday man, probably collectively, certainly obtain waaay greater ideas than these hollywood folk, but they get to speard their stupidity throughout global screens, while we pay to be insuled by the lesser mans brain, state!

RhythmDave on Jul 6, 2011


A black director casting an actor because of his race??? Gasp fortunately white directors never do that.

Anonymous on Jul 6, 2011


Irregardless of whoever ends up adapting this, the realities of the modern film market will kill any potential. Seriously, to achieve anything under a hard R you would have to edit out a good 50 percent of the original property, and if Will Smith is involved, then you can go the fuck ahead and forget an R rating.

Lebowski on Jul 6, 2011

19 there a fear that if too many people read subtitles there'll be a genuine zombie outbreak?

Anonymous on Jul 6, 2011


Nooo. It will be a bad decision to remake Oldboy. It's a classic and like that should stay. 

whatafy on Jul 6, 2011


Get a grip, people. No-one is destroying the already existing classic. It's disappointing to read such silly knee-jerk reactions - especially in the article itself from you, Alex.

Chris on Jul 6, 2011


The pay-off (shocker really) in the original was the family ties angle. Asian films usually go for some effed up family thing at the end don't they? But a re-write is a certainty (can't see that ending/exact storyline flying in American cinema) and it'll make or break the project...regardless of anyone thinking this was a good idea in the first place.  But gripe all we want, Hollywood is a business and they're out to make money not hear the cries of fans no matter what we say just like efforts towards the Akira remake. It'll all end in tears I promise:(

Anonymous on Jul 6, 2011


I can't understand the original old boy - -" not one bit. But can't Hollywood produce a brand new idea?

TTumMM on Jul 6, 2011


There is no point in remaking or rebooting a movie unless you are going to improve on the original, and they are certainly NOT going to be able to pull that off.  Spike Lee is an OK director, not a great one.  And seriously, this Mark Protosevich guy?  I Am Legend and Thor?  I haven't seen Thor, but by most accounts it was pretty stupid, and I did see I Am Legend, and aside from the terrible effects, what really brought that movie down was the fact that too many liberties were taken with the story.  I still enjoyed it for what it did right, but there were some glaring flaws.  The best thing that this project has going for it is Spike Lee, and that doesn't instill much confidence.

JL on Jul 6, 2011


Let's give it a chance. I remember when I heard that Infernal Affairs was going to get remade I had a hissy fit, but it turned out pretty decent (The Departed). 

Lerryjee on Jul 6, 2011


Why oh why do mankind have such a destructive mind?

Mr.T on Jul 7, 2011


I think with a good script and cast, Spike can pull this off. It has to be an hard R to make this work though..

jah p on Jul 7, 2011


Mr lee I had seen Les Miserables and I thought about Porgy and Bess and I would like to see the redone for this generation. Jennifer Grant Email-1jennifer.grant

Jennifer Grant on Jan 12, 2013

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