Everyone was really, really against the Oldboy redo, huh? Movies die all the time in the planning stages, but rarely have I seen as many cries of “hallelujah!” as I witnessed today on the interweb following Latino Review’s scoop that we’ll never, ever see Steven Spielberg and Will Smith’s take on Garon Tsuchiya’s manga, which was previously adapted into an apparently very beloved cult film by Korean director Park Chan-wook (for one example of celebration, check out TK’s earlier post).
And this was a big day for news of canceled and delayed projects, including Monsters, Inc. 2 and the Magneto origins film, which should have inspired far more dances of joy than this given the diminishing quality of the X-Men movies.
I guess I’m just getting more curious in my old age. I wonder what death will look like, I’m anxious about the end of the world, and I’m similarly intrigued about what an Oldboy remake (which isn’t really a remake) could possibly have looked like in the very mainstream hands of Spielberg and Smith. Oh well, I’m sure tomorrow will bring news of some other bad idea I can look forward to.
Check out the elated yet somewhat still wary reactions from around the film blogosphere:
“Mandate Pictures and DreamWorks pictures were to secure the rights together, they didn’t see eye-to-eye, walked away, and that breeze you felt was every film lover breathing a sigh of relief.”
“My sigh of relief echoed down my vacant and cold street moments ago […] This could not be better news for our beloved Park Chan-Wook directed revenge with hammers and live squids flick.”
“Fans of the original Park Chan-wook film are probably dancing in the streets with joy right now, and who can blame them? A seminal, violent, envelope-pushing film was going to be remade as some kind of Hollywood blockbuster, starring Will Smith, a guy who doesn’t know how to be mean on camera. Yes, it was going to be based on the original manga, and not a remake of the film, but that’s like making a movie based on the short stories of Ryunosuke Akutagawa and claiming it has nothing to do with Rashomon.”
“Could it be? Have our prayer’s been answered? […] I honestly loathed this project a lot less when we learned that they were looking at the manga more than the film, but at the same time it would have been impossible not to compare Spielberg’s vision to Park’s.”
“More than likely this will be the last we hear of this idea, and Hollywood will move on from it entirely. No one needs another Old Boy, the first one is great just the way it is. We don’t always have to have an American/English version of everything. There are some of us who don’t mind watching movies with subtitles.”
“Although it could have been fun to see Will Smith eating a live octopus and disposing of enemies in exceedingly violent ways while under the direction of Steven Spielberg, it’s still insulting to assume that American audiences are somehow not smart enough to find these movies on our own. Or, gasp, read subtitles! Oh, the horror.”
“This is good news. Not because Park Chan-Wook’s film is too sacred to be touched (but really, it’s an excellent film, why bother trying to improve on it? There are very few flaws), but because the story is rather harrowing and any version that Spielberg and Smith would have made would have been largely sanitized to the point of being unrecognizable. […] Hooray! Let’s move on and never, ever speak of it again.”
“Now we can breathe a sigh of relief… for now. Who’s to say that the project won’t still resurface in the future? We’re never safe. We must always be on guard. We must always be prepared.”
“Seems that über-leet cult Asian Cinema addicts may be sleeping a little easier knowing that this sacred cow is safe — for now, anwyay. (There’s always the possibility of an Uwe Boll version, right?)”
“So cue the celebration right? Except for one thing. […] with them gone the door is wide open to a host of other names. Maybe Brett Ratner can step in as director? Maybe Sam Worthington can be cast in the lead role? Then you’d really have something to bitch about…”
“I know it was the more popular route to be against this adaptation, but I was really curious to see how it would play out with Smith in the lead. He has always been entertaining in action flicks and I have always wanted to see him in something really heavy in the action department. […] I wanted to see how the two compared, if not just to see Smith in a cool action story.”