Huh? Steven Spielberg and Will Smith want to remake 'Oldboy'?

Smithspielberg_lI did a double take when I read in Variety that Steven Spielberg and Will Smith are interested in an American remake of Korean director Park Chanwook’s 2003 film Oldboy. For those not familiar with the cult hit, the centerpiece of the filmmaker’s revenge trilogy, it’s a hyperviolent saga about a man held hostage for 15 years, then mysteriously released and allowed to go on a brutal payback spree. A live octopus is eaten, incest is committed, and a man slices out his own tongue. In other words, not the sort of thing usually up either Spielberg’s or Smith’s alley. What are two guys with such mainstream, usually family-friendly sensibilities doing remaking a picture like this?

Naturally, this is the sort of news that drives fanboys apoplectic. But as this Slashfilm post points out, someone in Hollywood was bound to remake this film sooner or later. At least it’s not in the hands of hacks. Not only are these two at the top of their game creatively, but they’ve also both proven that they can sell pretty much anything to mainstream audiences, no matter how grim. If they can pull this off, well, kudos. Let’s just hope the finished product doesn’t involve aliens.

More on Oldboy:
Movie Review: Oldboy
Dalton Ross’ Obsession of the Week: Oldboy
Samuel L. Jackson: My Top 10 New Classic Asian Films
Comic Book Movies: The 22 Best Ever
Movie Review: Park Chanwook’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
Movie Review: Park Chanwook’s Lady Vengeance
Book Review: Old Boy manga

addCredit(“Smith: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Spielberg: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images”)

Comments (268 total) Add your comment
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  • Meier

    No remake our country does, no matter who’s involved, can touch the original Oldboy.

  • Simon

    Why? Even with these two on board, I don’t think they can make a better movie than the original. Is Hollywood running out of ideas?

  • LJ

    I know you don’t care about spoilers, Gary, but jeez, I think you could have left some of the details out without impacting the story. I’m glad I’ve already seen it!

  • ann

    Steven Spielberg is “at the top of his game creatively”?
    No, that would be about 25 years ago.

  • Delon

    Booooooo !!! They’ll probably turn it into something silly and PG-13.

  • Eric Friedmann

    Steven Spielberg is my favorite living director today. But he will slowly losing credibility with me if he dedicates any more of his talent to remakes. The last INDIANA JONES movie was a disaster in of itself.

  • mikey machine

    these two are not at the “top of their game”. nope. there is no possible way they could do Oldboy justice. bogus.

  • John Ryan

    Huh? “Top of their game”? Hancock, I am Legend, Indiana Jones 4?

  • katie g

    i watched oldboy with my boyfriend… it’s got disturbing factors to it that i’m not sure spielberg can pull off. and i always love will smith – but i’m not sure he can pull off how dark the character is.

  • atee

    The Picture ‘Oldboy’ is very different and has an interesting theme, not like other revenge such as murdur or drug traffic or rape. A man who commit a small gossip, should deserve a 15 yr prison and a plot that led him to commit insect and psycho drug and cutting his own tongue?? Does he deserve?? On the other point of view, he committed a murder and he do deserve!! The story is very different and very good. It shows korean picturing ability.

  • molly

    They can’t remake oldboy, i dont understand how it would work at all.
    I highly doubt Will Smith could pull off the crazy incest character.

  • Jspenc

    I would like 2 speak on john ryans words….first of will smith is at the top of his game I am legend turned the hole zombie movie into somthing we haven’t seen before…..a story line not done often n there are few actors today that can pull of the work he did n this film….n same with hancock original super hero story n those two films brought n big big box office numbers…no actor 2day does that no one has had 2 movies gross those numbers n that time dec 07 and June 08…and not let us forget the oscar nom for pursuit of hapiness…n 07 i Believe….so if he is not at the top of his game then no one is…..

  • Leo

    It’s extra-dimensional beings.

  • jmh

    No. No no no no no.

  • Rob Grizzly

    I agree with Delon. It’ll probably lighten it to PG-13.
    I’m intrigued by Spielberg and Smith working together, but this wasn’t the project for them I had in mind.
    If anyone should be remaking OldBoy, It’s Martin Scorsese

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