Will Smith and Spielberg Remake of Oldboy Gets the Axe
Posted 11.10.09 by reelz
Seriously, can you think of anything thing that sounds worse than Steven Spielberg (one of the most iconic-yet-conventional directors in history) crafting a movie based loosely on the edgy, stomach-churning Korean horror movie Oldboy? Oh yeah ... how about remaking it with Will Smith (one of the most-iconic-yet-conventional actors in recent years) as the star?
The 2003 Chan-wook Park-directed Oldboy won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and became something of an instant cult classic among connoisseurs of exotic horror and Asian cinema. The story involves a man imprisoned in a room for 15 years under mysterious circumstances. When he finally emerges, he sets about trying to find the identity of his captor.
For some reason, Smith and Spielberg decided it would be a great idea to remake the movie for American audiences, with Smith as the star. Admittedly, they planned to base their version on the original manga rather than on Park's movie; but regardless, it's hard to imagine a director as tame as Spielberg and an actor as mass-friendly as Smith pulling off the story and the character with the necessary edginess.
Thankfully, Latino Review writes that the cinema gods have performed a miracle: Mandate and Dreamworks apparently couldn't reach a consensus regarding the rights to the manga, and the project is now officially kaput. We can only hope that Smith and Spielberg don't try to revive it.
If you haven't seen Oldboy, there are some truly spine-tingling moments involving, among other things, a live octopus and a scene of "dentistry" that makes Dustin Hoffman's Marathon Man horror moment seem downright tame. And of course, there's the now-famous hall-fight sequence, which you can see below.