Josh Brolin Talks ‘Oldboy’ Remake Compared to Korean Version

Published 2 years ago by , Updated December 14th, 2012 at 12:56 am,

Josh Brolin Talks Old Boy Josh Brolin Talks Oldboy Remake Compared to Korean Version

Josh Brolin is currently out doing the media junket rounds for his starring role in Men in Black 3, but there are plenty of questions to be answered about a different project the actor is headlining: Spike Lee’s upcoming remake/re-interpretation of the manga (Japanese comic book) Oldboy, which was adapted into the hit 2003 Korean by director Chan-wook Park.

Park’s Oldboy has amassed a serious cult-following since its initial release, which is part of the reason why there has been such strong backlash ever since an American version of Old Boy was announced – and then, greater backlash when that news was followed up by the announcement that controversial director Spike Lee was helming the remake.

It seems that Brolin is aware of all the concern surrounding his new film, and took on the questions in regards to the issue, during the press junket for MIB3. /Film recorded the following quotes about Oldboy from the No Country for Old Men star:

Oldboy? Literally you say Oldboy and my stomach just goes Grrrrrr [mimics twisting and turning]. Oldboy will be an experience, man. It wont be like Men In Black, I’ll tell you that much. I’m really happy about it. We’ve gotten amazing actors: Liz Olsen, who I think is fantastic and we also got Sharto Copley from District 9 who I think is going to be unbelievable. He just wrote me an e-mail and was like, ‘Look, I’ve got to get this out of the way. Dude, Goonies is my favorite film of all time,’ which I thought was really sweet. And now I’m going to make 20 years of your life miserable.

Oldboy tells the story of a man named Joe Douchett (Brolin) who is locked in a room for over a decade by a sadistic billionaire named Adrian Pryce (Sharlto Copley). Pryce eventually sets Douchett free, and orders him to uncover the reason for his “punishment” within in a set span of time, or suffer further torment. Joe recruits the help of a sympathetic social worker (Elizabeth Olsen) and heads off into the seedy underbelly of the city to find his answers.

Park’s film had a number of now-iconic sequences – including actor Min-sik Choi eating a live squid on camera (still haven’t recovered from that visual) and an impressively long tracking shot of Choi fighting a narrow hallway full of opponents with nothing but a hammer in hand. Regarding if they will keep some of those iconic moments in the new version – specifically the hammer fight – Brolin said the following:

Yes, by the way. Yes. And it’s a hammer and knife and all that stuff. And then will we keep the octopus, will we keep the other stuff? There’s some changes but I think it’s really good. It still makes me throw down the script half way through. Whoa.

Choi Min sik in Oldboy movie from director Pan Chan wook Josh Brolin Talks Oldboy Remake Compared to Korean Version

The Korean ‘Oldboy’

Finally, in regards to whether or not Park supported this new take on the story:

I love Oldboy and I’m close with Chan-wook Park and I emailed him a couple months ago, just asking for his blessing to do this movie becuase if he had said ‘No,’ I wouldnt have done it. But I really respect his movie and we’ll make a little different movie and this whole idea of a more Hollywood version of it? Whatever. We’re just going to make a different version but have respect to the initial story and premise. I’m looking forward to it, man. I’m talking about it nervously right now because it makes me nervous.

Josh Brolin has proven himself as a great leading man and actor in the 21st century (we’ll ignore Jonah Hex) and it seems like he has respect for the material that this film is drawing from. If he is in the pool with both feet, I see no reason not to be optimistic. We know that Lee and Co. will change the story a bit to reflect more American themes, and that the dark climax of the Korean version will be even darker in this American one. Sounds like a right mix of old and new to me.

We’ll keep you updated on the status of Oldboy as the film heads into production this fall.

Source: /Film

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TAGS: oldboy

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  1. They won’t have the balls to keep the main shock of the ending GUARUNTEEEEEEEED

    • agreed

    • I agree w/ you on that

    • Cosign on that…

    • They have to. No reason to make it.

  2. So, this is pretty much a useless remake. This isn’t going to make it to mainstream audiences and will have a doomed existence on American soil.The only people who would see it are the people who loved the original, and they are pissed off about it. I honestly am tired of movie remakes that aren’t different at all. Please don’t make this.

    • the original what?

      the original story that was not followed in the original movie which may not appear in the original remake of the original movie of the original story?

      The story was a Manga first and foremost. So if this new movie is anything like the original story and not like the movie it is more pure to the story line to include that twist ending that was never in the original story.

      • I’d tell you how full of **** you are, but I think you already know.

        • He’s right, the original movie made many changes that were never in the manga. And really, it wouldnt have been as good without Parks changes.

          • I completely disagree the original comic was better.
            The comic is a story about a man who wants answers about what happened to him and is completely capable of violence but personally unwilling to go too far. He is a decent man and the victim of circumstances out of his control. The antagonists obsession is born out of his own insecurities not something Yamasgita did plays with the way seemingly random horrors happen to people.

            The movie is butchering of the characters and themes of the original.
            Really with the amount of original content put in by the director/writers they didnt need the oldboy setup.

    • give it a chance i like the idea of a change now thats a good thing and bad. it wont be anything like the original but they never are. but it going to be a good thing

  3. I really like brolin, i wish he could catch a break. hes so talented but it seems like hes always getting the raw end of the deal. i think HE is what will make this movie worth seeing. I really liked the original, and am very much looking forward to this one.

  4. I say, let this movie come. Spike Lee has the potential to do a good job, Brolin and Copley are great actors, and they are adapting the book, not remaking the last film (think Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo).

    Additionally, hopefully SOME of the people who see this – however good or bad it ends up – will check out the fanTAStic original film.

  5. Okay first and foremost,i love anything Josh Brolin is in.second,c`mon it`s gonna be directed by spike lee!You couldn`t ask for a better directer.His films are always fantastic.yeah remakes are more than not completely useless except for a select few that have actually worked.I am confident in Spike Lee and Josh Brolin,and if Spike says the ending is gonna be darker then i believe him and that makes me want to see the movie even more.

    • ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ was one of the worst and most psychologically disturbing “children’s adaptations” I have ever had the misfortune to suffer through.

      I’ve seen the original ‘Old Boy’ and judging by the second trailer for the remake, I expect absolutely nothing from Mr. Lee.

      - N

      • Wrong Spike. Where the Wild things Are was directed by Spike Jonze.

  6. I’ve watched the lake house & my sassy girl, in both languages : big disappointment. I truly enjoy Hollywood & Bollywood flicks, Kmovie, Jmovie, … but i’m afraid they’re going to mess up the story just as they did with My Sassy Girl (excellent in Korean, dull in US version).

    By the way, eating a live squid is COMMON in Korea, they are called “sannakji”.

  7. It’s not a squid he ate in the movie. I believe it’s an octopus. Much bigger.

    • It was an octopus.

      And Brolin doesn’t have the balls to eat one, I’ve heard.

  8. Makes me sick to my stomach. Oldboy should be put up on a pedestal and never f***** with especially by Spike “Tawana told the truth” Lee.

    • You’re right. Sell-out n*****.

  9. Hello
    I think American film makers have no idea but have just money to steal (by recyclage) the idea from others. I’m French and I know that field because many French famous movies were copyied by Holywood film makers.
    This situation explains very well the level of decadence in which America is stuck now.
    If the American “Oldboy” releases, I won’t go to any cinema to see it because I know that the Korean one is the best one to see.

  10. The remake is horrible couldnt sit down and watch it