Here at Screen Rant we haven’t covered much of the American dreaded remake of the Korean masterpiece Oldboy, which has Steven Spielberg and Will Smith attached. But there’s be so much stuff going on behind-the-scenes with it that we thought you’d like to be updated on its status.
Word of Spielberg and Smith being attached (to direct and star, respectively) in a remake of Chan-wook Park’s Korean revenge flick first came about back in November of last year. At that time, Dreamworks was in the process of acquiring the rights and it looked like the unnecessary remake was fully on the way. But just recently the project hit a snag when legal troubles arose between Futabasha (the comic book company who published the original Oldboy manga) and Show East (the original Oldboy’s production company) over the fact that they negotiated a remake when they apparently didn’t have the right to do so (smells like the Watchmen lawsuit to me).
However, any sighs of relief from fans of the original Oldboy may have been premature as it appears the remake is back on track. Although it’s not 100% confirmed, it’s being reported (by Reuters) that Show East has gone bankrupt, and its CEO has gone missing. Big Egg (which co-produced the original movie) also closed-up shop and is unreachable. The rights were acquired by Mandate who later sold them to Dreamworks, and even though the company hasn’t commented on the legal troubles, they are now still going ahead with development of the project.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was annoyed at the news of an Oldboy remake when it was first announced. Even when it was revealed that it wouldn’t strictly be a remake of the 2003 Korean film per se, but rather of the original manga comic, it still didn’t take much of the sting out of the tail. And when the legal troubles arose it felt not too far away from divine intervention.
This news now means that us Oldboy fans have to face the reality that a remake (which effectively it is, semantics aside) is on the way. No doubt Spielberg and Smith’s version will be watered down, removing much of the shocking content that can be found in the original (including something of a certain social taboo variety that I’d be curious to see if Spielberg would keep as far as a plot point).
In case you can’t tell, I am a huge fan of the original Oldboy and naturally anyone trying to do another version has me annoyed. I, and just about every other Oldboy fan out there, can only hope another problem arises that hinders and hopefully even cancels this remake project altogether.
What do you think of an Oldboy remake? Are you glad it’s back on board after its legal troubles?
No release date has been set as of yet for the Oldboy remake.