Spike Lee is directing Oldboy, plot the same
It's true, it seems bizarre, but it's true, Spike Lee is directing the Hollywood remake of Oldboy, and more to the point the remake is happening.
I must admit I wasn't really taken by the rumour because I thought it was just that, another rumour, but the source is one that usually doesn't indulge in rumours like that so I was surprised to hear it. Even more surprised now to find that it's actually the case.
We've been talking about a Hollywood version of Oldboy (Filmstalker review) for a very long time now (since 2006), and it's gone through a few iterations with Steven Spielberg and Will Smith being the biggest names attached to bring it to life, saying that they were going back to the comic series to bring the story to Hollywood.
However Justin Lin was first up to direct the English language version from a team of producers including the superb Roy Lee, and since then there have been rumours of different directors, the project being on and off, and all manner of Oldboy related stories.
I talked about in that article how I find that a very strange connection for the films that Lee is known for are far from the story of Oldboy. Well, that's what I was thinking when I wrote the article, he's all about the oppressed characters, the downtrodden, the racial commentary, and then he delivered Inside Man (Filmstalker review), but then I started thinking about his previous films and about the story of Oldboy, and something clicked. Reread those words I've just jotted down about his films then add in the tension of Inside Man and apply that to the story of Oldboy. Don't you start to see connections?
I can when I sit back and think about it, between the commonality of Lee's films and some of the core of the story in Oldboy, or more to the point some of the story that could be in an American version of the original Oldboy story.
What could be happening here is that the production is set to really Americanise and adapt the Oldboy story into something very different to the original film, and that is perhaps the only way it could really work for a straight remake surely won't wash with fans of the original film.
"...a man who is kidnapped and imprisoned on his daughter's birthday. For fifteen years, he is held captive, and, upon his release, must begin his journey to find the reason for his imprisonment. He soon finds out that his kidnapper has plans for him more tortuous than his solitary confinement."
That does sound like the original. Now we're going to have to wait and see what Spike Lee and Mark Protosevich have in store for us, and if they'll be the team who manage to see this project to the end.