Teaser Poster & Early Reactions for Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Remake

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 12th, 2013 at 7:30 am,

spike lee oldboy distributor Teaser Poster & Early Reactions for Spike Lees Oldboy Remake

The lack of promotional material for Oldboy, the long-gestating remake of South Korean maestro Park Chan-wook’s revenge opus, has allowed director Spike Lee to keep the film well under-wraps leading into its fall 2013 release. But as October draws closer, the need for FilmDistrict to release some details about Lee’s vision of Park’s stunning, violent, tragic, deranged masterpiece grows greater and greater.

Good news, though: Oldboy‘s first teaser poster has been unveiled for fan appreciation. Additionally, a report from an early test screening has a lot to say about Lee’s direction, the performances of the film’s talented cast, the overall cringe-worthiness of the material, and octopi.

Taken on its own merits and with no context provided, the poster is an evocative, suggestive image that should make more sense upon a reading of the synopsis; fans will immediately be able to make the connection and understand what those scratch marks represent. There’s no tagline, but the film has enough notoriety that the omission hardly matters.

Peruse the synopsis – and then check out the poster below:

An advertising executive is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his punishment, only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.

 Teaser Poster & Early Reactions for Spike Lees Oldboy Remake

Until recently, few had seen footage of Lee’s Oldboy – considering the poster is the first entry in the film’s ad campaign – so at this point, audience reactions are especially attention-grabbing. The screening report hails from JoBlo, who claim that the feedback belongs to a “trusted source”; that’s assurance enough, but it’s worth stressing that any response from anonymous test screenings should be regarded with a degree of caution.

It may also go without saying that comments about the film are going to be VERY spoilery. For those who have seen Park’s original, this isn’t so much a problem; for the uninitiated, best stay away if you want to maintain purity – before seeing the film in theaters for yourselves. So, from this point on SPOILERS for Oldboy.



Still here? Check out the early screening reaction below:

There are only minor changes, with stuff like the prison sequence being longer and some tweaks to the ending. It’s not shot for shot by any means either, so if you see it, you should definitely expect things to be different and to cringe all over again…Much like the original, acts two and three are very sadistic and “wrong.”

If nothing else it sounds like Lee nailed the characters, but character is something he should be able to handle with relative easy. Great, well-drawn, complicated characters are expected from the filmmaker – and the players in Oldboy provide a solid foundation. For admirers of Park’s film, the greater concern may be whether or not Lee has the chops to take on the darker, grimmer, more controversial elements of the story – Oldboy gets downright gruesome and uncomfortable when it needs to, and while Lee isn’t a stranger to transgression in his movies, he doesn’t craft pictures that call for the leads to cut out their own tongues.

On that score, it sounds like Lee has made a movie that equals its predecessor in graphic bloodshed and discomfiting imagery. The report describes Oldboy as “sadistic” as well as “wrong” and “as twisted and sick as the original.” That’s an impressive claim considering how far Park pushed the envelope in 2003 – especially if Lee really has upped the ante with the film’s big, climactic twist/reveal. Also of interest: Lee has kept the hallway scene in the movie, but expanded on it by having Joe (Josh Brolin) fight multiple bad guys across numerous floors rather than one single location. Makes sense – there’s little to gain in just copying Park’s one-take approach for that particular sequence.

So maybe Lee has done Oldboy justice. Unfortunately, we have to wait seven months to find out, but this should tide us all over in the meantime. What’s your take Screen Ranters? Does the report assuage your fears about the remake?


Spike Lee’s Oldboy hits theaters October 11th, 2013.

Source: Collider & Joblo

Follow Andy Crump on Twitter @agracru
TAGS: Oldboy
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  1. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, and no.

    • + infinity!

      • agree… wrong director, wrong everything. The original was amazing.

  2. This is one of my all time fave movies so even tho it’s spike lee, I’m hesitant about a remake. But reading this has eased me into it. I’ll be watching it for sure but ill be that person going in ready to fiercely defend the first movie..

    • ‘Even tho it’s Lee….’

      I’m still trying to think of the last movie he did that was good, or just hardly anything at all.

      Yeah, I got nothing.

      Help a brother out. ;-)

      - N

  3. I never watched the original,but I think it’s kind of stupid to put “A Spike Lee Joint” on the poster,being a remake.

    • All his movies have that.

      • And for all of them, it looks equally gay.

  4. I don’t care about the remake and I really don’t understand why they made one (well, of course I realize it’s to make money).

    The original was already a mediocre and overhyped experience. I heard people rave about it for almost a decade, and when I finally saw it last year I genuinely wondered what all that fuzz was about. Sure, the story was edgy and if you are impressed by that kind of thing it probably blew your mind, but for me it really isn’t that good a movie. If you take away the daring revelation what’s left? Cardboard characters with no personality whatsoever, bad acting and lots of boredom in between…

    The same goes for The Raid, btw. Some well done fight scenes surrounded by a whole lot of nothingness. Overhyped to the max, and the similar Dredd was War and Peace in comparison.

    • the raid was good b/c of the choreography and brutality of the violence. if you went into the raid expecting a trashy nolan movie where the characters cry about nothing for 3 hours then you had no idea what you where watching and what to be excited about.

      not everyone goes to the movies to have a cry session about how their life sucks and how a life should act out according to the likes of sandra bullock or christian bale, some people go to the movies to have fun, be entertained and relaxing time away from work etc… you know the reasons movies are generally made for…

      • Glad you got that off your chest there.

        • @TheLostWinchester

          LMAO! I know, right? Where did that come from?

          I mean, blaming Nolan for that when he did what practically everyone who ever worked with the Batman character has done since it was created….

          I hope someday that jwalka finishes puberty before posting comments on this website again.

          • +1 billion.

            • +2 billion

        • Hahahaha

      • I guess is true what they say, Nolan haters are annoying.

        • Almost as annoying as Nolanites.

    • Im going to have to disagree with you about The Raid. It was a great film. Great action, choreography, cinematography and score. Everyone has thier opinions and theyre entitled to it, but it seems youre just trying to go against the grain and hate on everything popular.

      • I’m not trying anything. I’m just giving my honest opinion about the movies that I watch, as I expect everyone else here to do. This may come as a shock to you, but people have different tastes. That you like something doesn’t mean everyone else has to as well. Ever heard the expression “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”? It’s great that you like The Raid. Enjoy it. But don’t try to discredit me just because I don’t. Thank you.

    • If you can’t appreciate the fight choreography of that film, you just need to stop watching these movies.

  5. Oldboy is one word.

  6. I don’t have a problem with foreign films being adapted for American audiences. I don’t like to read the subtitles as I’m watching a movie so it’s no problem with me.

    • I think America should stop remaking foreign films, they already ruined The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Godzilla, Funny Games and many more movies. Don’t get me wrong I love movies from the States but when it comes to remaking foreign stuff, they are usually mediocre.

      • While I agree that America should stop remaking foreign classics, I’d have to disagree with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s not a remake of the Swedish movie, it’s David Fincher’s own adaptation of the book and, in my opinion, superior to the Swedish one. And I’m willing to give this next Godzilla a chance.

        • They ruined her character in that.

          She should have stood and watched him burn, after minutes of not helping, like in the original.

          They changed that. It wasn’t right.

          - N

      • All I have to say about American remakes is The Departed

        • Beat me to it by about 7 hours.

  7. Screw Spike Lee. He doesnt deserve an ounce of money from anyone. Especially a remake of an awesome movie

  8. Oldboy was very good until about the part when he runs back to the apartment where the girl is tied up and then the movie just began to annoy me. It dropped off so far. The ending was just the worst. Where is Oldboy? The guy who went through 30 dudes with a knife in his back and only his trusty hammer.

    • First off “spoiler alert” and secondly, I believe that was the point of Oldboy. Desperation leads to strange behavior. Oh Dae-su was a boss up to that point because he was on a vengeful high. Then that all comes crashing down around him when he learns the truth about what he’s done.

      Also, you think the ending of Oldboy is messed up? The whole movie is “wrong” but that’s what makes it interesting.

      • Sorry about the “Spoilers” but this movie is rather old and I think there is a point when you can openly talk about something without being afraid of spoiler alerts. For instance would anyone consider Vader being Luke’s father a spoiler alert? Alright, next point. I never read the manga so I’m just going off the movie.
        I really liked how the movie started off with his imprisonment all the way to were he first confronts Woo-jin. He is faced with a dilemma; Kill the man who tortured you and destroyed your life or play along with his schemes and find out why. Why? That was very powerful. What did Oh Dae-su do? Did he deserve this? Is he actually the bad-guy in this story? Why did this all happen?

        • It’s the journey not the destination. Oldboy has its flaws to be sure and the moral conundrums it brings up would be easily fixed if you ask me (stop sleeping with your daughter) but I think getting hung up on the final details ruins the entire film. Like you said, the first 2/3s of the movie are brilliant and whatever your thoughts on the finale are it’s still effective in getting under your skin. I personally enjoyed that aspect in spite of the mental hurdles I had to get over. Obviously you weren’t pleased by the ending and that’s your right. We’re both intelligent, ruggedly sexy, people who enjoy watching movies. We disagree on this one but that’s life. Now let’s hop on our metaphorical stallions and ride off into the cinematic sunset while Danny Elfman plays us out.

          • Quite possibly one of the best replies I have ever had the pleasure of receiving. Thank you :)

  9. The original movie was insane, I just don’t think Lee can pull it off… and i still don’t know why he’s even trying. I guess we’ll see if I’m right or not.

    • Steven Spielberg passed on the chance to film the remake…is why Spike Lee got his chance at it.

      Surprised by the wonderful job Spike Lee did with INSIDE MAN; but, here, he got his chance after Ron Howard passed on the project; and Lee also had a strong producer in Brian Grazer.

      With the strong presence of a veteran producer looking over his shoulder, Spike seems capable of pulling off a fairly decent production. Does the film need (or deserve) an English-language remake? Only if they put a fresh twist on the very end.

    • Well, Lee’s insane too. Just not in the good way.

  10. this film is going to suck…

  11. I hate remakes but I like Spike Lee. I have never seen the original but I will give this one a chance.

    • Do yourself a favor… watch the original and forget the remake even exists. There’s NO WAY Lee can top it.

  12. Nobody asked for this, nobody even wants this, so why waste the money and time in bringing everyone something they don’t want. I HATE this aspect of hollywood. The original is still good, it doesn’t feel outdated in anyway. So leave it alone. I just pray they don’t remake Battle Royale or make that live action Akira movie. And let’s face it’ll just be compared to the original in every way completely undermining any originality this remake might have.

    • Speak for yourself regarding Battle Royale; that film never made it to mainstream rental here.

      I heard there was a copyright issue.

      - N

  13. The reason why so many foreign language films are being remade for the US rather than simply re-releasing the original is because they’re not made for cinephiles that seek out foreign language art-house releases. They’re made for your average, docile, dumb American moviegoer that cannot wait for the next episode of ‘Game of Thrones’. They’re the same viewers that don’t like documentaries and need explosions and bare breasts every 5 minutes in order to keep their eyelids open.

    That said, Spike Lee is an interesting choice and, much like Park Chan-Wook, he gets a bad rep and I’ve found myself defending Lee more often than not over the years. Most people dislike Lee personally rather than simply enjoying his films for what they are.

    If you really need to escape from the world that badly and cannot take a little bit of darkness in your ‘entertainment’, then why don’t you watch the wealthy shop for expensive houses on the Home and Garden Network you’ll never own so you’ll stop thinking about that trailer you have to wake up to every morning.

    • You just called us all cows.

      I find that offensive.

      - N

      PS. Game of Thrones is a damn good show, but maybe you’re just not smart enough to ‘get’ it. I know you haven’t read the novels, like I have.

      “Pretend-tious” much?

      No, I didn’t misspell pretentious. I created a new word, just for you. :-)

  14. Everyone does know there’s 2 more movies to the series no one mentioned right? Lady Vengeance and Sympathy for Mr. vengeance. P.S everything America touches with movies sucks because there lazy and don’t want to do anything original