FilmDistrict to distribute Spike Lee’s Oldboy in the US

It was back in July last year when Spike Lee became attached to direct an English language adaptation of Oldboy. Now comes news from the Toronto Film Festival (where Lee is screening his Michael Jackson documentary Bad 25), which reveals that FilmDistrict have acquired the rights to distribute Lee’s Oldboy in the US.

Whether you like it or not, this film is definitely happening, with shooting to commence later this month in Georgia. While this news may result in some of you screaming “NOOOOO,” the level of talent involved would suggest that this could be as good as eight servings of gyoza. Under Lee’s direction will be a cast that includes Josh Brolin as the lead, Elizabeth Olsen as a social worker, and Sharlto Copeley as the villain, all working on a script by Mark Protosevich.

Lee’s film will undoubtedly draw comparisons to Park Chan-Wook’s seminal revenge thriller, but it’s worth noting that his film is not strictly a remake of the South Korean classic. Protosevich’s script is essentially an adaptation of the original Manga by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi.

There’s no release date yet, though FilmDistrict have put together an official synopsis:

OLDBOY follows the story of an advertising executive (Josh Brolin) who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement without any indication of his captor’s motive. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. His quest for revenge leads him into an ill-fated relationship with a young social worker (Elizabeth Olsen) and ultimately to an illusive man (Sharlto Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his salvation.

When compared to Chan-Wook’s film, strangely Lee’s version adds an increase of five years to the lead’s solitary confinement. Compared to the Manga, it’s actually double.

FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel described Spike Lee as, “the right filmmaker to reimagine and put his touch onto arguably one of the most talked about thrillers in recent memory.”

Is Oldboy something you’ll be looking forward to? Do you feel that Park Chan-Wook’s film could be bettered?

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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