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Spielberg's Oldboy not a remake

OldBoy-Cover.jpgOh we hear this a lot, we really do, but apparently Oldboy will not be a remake. Really, and right from the lips of Will Smith who's on board with Steven Spielberg for the film.

Instead it appears that the film will be taken directly from the original source manga (read comics) that inspired the story for Oldboy on the big screen. Now while that may not be as powerful and risky as the original, it is apparently equally compelling once the story gets going.

The blurb from Amazon for Oldboy (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) issue 1 goes like this:

“Ten years ago, they took him. He doesn't know who. For ten years he has been confined in a private prison. He doesn't know why. For ten years his only contact with the outside world has been a television set and the voice of his jailers. In time, he lost himself... changed... transformed himself into something else... something hard... something lethal. Suddenly one day, his incarceration ends, again without explanation. He is sedated, stuffed inside a trunk, and dumped in a park. When he awakes, he is free to reclaim what's left of his life... and what's left is revenge.”

...with the second issue revealing a little more:

“Deciding that he must know the truth, the man who calls himself "Yamashita" follows a trail of clues that lead him back to the mysterious building where he was imprisoned and kept incommunicado for ten years. There, with the help of violence and a brutal imagination, he will try to find answers to the questions that haunt him. However, he will discover that his opponent will not yield to him so easily, and that his ordeal is far from finished.”

I shan't go into any more issue blurbs as they start to reveal a little much about the story, but the idea is there.

Film School Rejects through /Film have the comment from Will Smith about the project, and he reveals that it's not a remake, probably much like Karate Kid won't be.

“We’re looking at that right now. Not the film though, it’s the original source material...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…”

Well to be fair they are looking to the original comic books, so that does make a big difference. However I've not read them so I'm not sure how far away from the source they go, I believe a slightly different direction in the area that would have made the film nigh on impossible to market in America.

What do you think of that then? Is this giving you hope? Is there a chance this could turn out to be a good film that won't harm our love of the original Oldboy (Filmstalker review)? Will Spielberg and Smith still turn out something dark and gritty and very non-Hollywood, or will the source material give them the leeway to adapt it and make it easier on Western audiences?



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