November 10, 2008 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | November 10, 2008 |


There’s a very small, but very possessive number of folks who have seen the 2003 South Korean film, Oldboy, from director Chan Wook-Park. The movie made less than $1 million at North American box-offices, and were it not for the fact that it’s foreign-made, it’d have certainly been included on our original The 10 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen (ooooh. We should totally do a foreign-movie version). And those that love Oldboy (which includes each and every person that has seen it) cling to it like one of the Duggar kids clings to his virginity.

In fact, within a few minutes after news broke on Friday that Spielberg was contemplating a remake, I’d received three emails from incredulous readers, all threatening violent suicides if it were to happen (OK. Maybe not. But they were really unhappy). Unfortunately, it’s true. The good news, really, is that Spielberg is attached, with Will Smith set to star. And I know to fans of the film that that doesn’t sound like good news, but when you consider than, in early 2007, Justin Lin had owned the rights and was attached as director it sounds much more digestable. Justin Lin directed Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, which suggests that Paul Walker might have taken the lead in Oldboy. So, count your blessings, Oldboy fans.

For the many of you unfamiliar with the Korean original, it was about a man who gets kidnapped and held in a shabby cell for 15 years without explanation. Suddenly, he’s released and given money, a cell phone and clothes and is set on a path to discover who destroyed his life so he can take revenge.

I know the hardcore Oldboy fans aren’t down with this, but come on: This post alone will probably inspire a few people to search out the original, so — if anything — a remake will bring some much deserved attention to the original.

And in other less traumatic, personally devastating remake news, Chris Rock is set to star, produce, and co-write a remake of the British farce, Death at a Funeral, a movie that came out only last year. He has plans to take the original and urbanize it, giving it an all-black cast and, hopefully, adding something I felt the original was sorely missing: Humor.

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Oldboy and a Funeral

Remake Hell / Dustin Rowles

Trade News | November 10, 2008 | Comments ()



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