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Oldboy remake faces lawsuit

OldBoy-Cover.jpgLate last year, we heard that the unlikely pairing of Steven Spielberg and Will Smith would remake Oldboy.

Their plan is to make a film of the original manga material, as opposed to a remake of the first film. The plans have hit a snag though. A lawsuit is in the works.

When we first heard about the Oldboy (Filmstalker review) remake, we thought Steven Spielberg and Will Smith were planning on remaking the film. However it soon became clear that they actually wanted to make a film of the manga which inspired the first film.

A stumbling block has arisen though. The manga's Japanese publisher, Futabasga, is suing Show East. They are a Korean production company, who they think don't have the right to make any agreement for a film. AnimeNewsNetwork has this from the publishing company, through /Film.

Futabasha is suing to confirm the lack of a binding contract between the two parties, due to an alleged breach. Futabasha asserts that Show East violated its basic agreement with Futabasha, and thus nullified it, when Show East pushed for the production of a film remake with America’s Universal Pictures. Show East signed its contract with Futabasha over film rights in September of 2002, and signed a second contract in December of 2003 that amended the original one to cover other materials.

I'm thinking that's legal speak for, you can't do that. I guess we are going to have to wait and see how this is resolved. It could end up putting a lengthy delay on the film proceedings. For those who haven't seen the first film, a man is imprisoned in a room for 15 years before being unexpectedly freed. Given some clothes and a mobile, he sets out to find out what and who put him there. The film is great, but I haven't read the manga yet.

Do you think the Hollywood version is a good thing? Can Oldboy spawn a decent Hollywood remake?



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