Rooney Mara Rumored To Star In Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 5th, 2013 at 2:10 pm,

There’s been an unrelenting amount of animosity expressed towards the Oldboy remake ever since the idea of reworking Park Chan-wook’s 2003 cult classic (itself a Japanese comic book adaptation) was raised.

Mandate Pictures has attempted to combat said negativity by recruiting some undeniably talented people – like controversial director Spike Lee and Oscar-nominated actor Josh Brolin – to work on the new Oldboy adaptation. The project would look all the more appealing if rumored candidate Christian Bale likewise signs on as the villain opposing Brolin’s vengeance-seeking protagonist.

Twitch is reporting that Rooney Mara is currently “being targeted” to play the female lead (renamed Marie) in Lee’s Oldboy adaptation. While this is strictly a rumor for the time being, it ought to be pointed out that Twitch was essentially the first site to report that both Lee and Brolin were serious contenders to sign on for the project – so there’s a decent chance this casting rumor could also come to fruition.

Mara is very much an actress whose career is on the up and up, following her memorable lead performance in the (otherwise lackluster) Nightmare on Elm Street remake – and her scene-stealing turn as Mark Zuckerberg’s girlfriend in director David Fincher’s The Social Network.

However, Mara’s popularity could sky-rocket in the near future, seeing how she looks to deliver a fantastic performance as famous anti-heroine Lisbeth Salander in Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – which arrives in theaters this winter.

Rooney Mara in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Rooney Mara Rumored To Star In Spike Lees Oldboy [Updated]

Rooney Mara as ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’

Lee’s Oldboy re-telling revolves around an American man (Brolin) who is kidnapped on the day of his daughter’s birth and imprisoned in a hotel for more than twenty years – only to be released by his mysterious captors and told he has four days to determine why he was held captive, before his daughter will be murdered. Mara will (presumably) play the young woman who befriends Brolin’s character, upon his release.

The role of Marie almost certainly calls for someone who can be both emotionally-vulnerable and also strong-willed, which is something Mara has already proven herself quite capable of. Couple that with Brolin as the main character and the possibility of an actor of Bale’s stature playing the destructive, psychologically-tortured villain – and suddenly Lee’s Oldboy really does sound promising.

UPDATE: Variety‘s Justin Kroll has revealed (via Twitter) that Mara ultimately decided to pass on the Oldboy female lead role.

It also ought to be pointed that Oldboy screenwriter Mark Protosevich (I Am LegendThor) is reportedly drawing inspiration from both Chan-wook’s 2003 adaptation and the original Oldboy manga – not to mention, he is adding a good chunk of brand-new narrative material to the mix. So, when all is said and done, Lee’s film could feel like more of an original creation – similar to how Martin Scorsese’s The Departed bears little more than a passing resemblance to its inspiration (the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs).

We will continue to keep you updated on the status of the Oldboy remake as more information is released.

Source: Twitch

TAGS: Oldboy
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    • I’m sorry…what??

  2. Of all people to perpetuate this dreaded Hollywood cycle of Americanizing an awesome movie just because Joe Schmo can’t read well enough to watch a subtitled movie.

    What’s next? Repainting Van Gogh’s portraits because they don’t look American enough? Haven’t we learned from the Americanized versions of “The Ring” and “The Grudge”? Even though they were directed by the original directors they still lacked the original’s ability to convey thier sense of fear, relief, hope, etc.

    I guess we haven’t since they’re doing the same thing to “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

    Integrity in art….

  3. Well at least they’re trying to get a good cast. I have hope for this one.

  4. You know, while I enjoy the fighting scenes in Oldboy, I do not understand the draw due to the core subject material. I am not going to spoil it for anyone but its not for me.

  5. It will be watered down to a point it will bear hardly any resemblance to the 2003 movie except the part about a man being held hostage by for years in a hotel.

    That said, viewers will this remake and shrug their shoulders, and maybe it will spark interest in the 2003 movie for people that havent seen that one.

    I agree with Ben, and Im American as they come and I tell you it’s sort of embarrassing that most people are too lazy to read subtitles. I’m no arty fartsy guy who thinks foreign films are better, but there must be at least 30 or more Ive watched that were truly unique have made me look at storytelling in a much well-rounded way.

  6. (I should have proofread that before hitting the post button. An edit button would be a good feature.)

  7. I’m not a fan of this idea of a remake, but, I am a fan of Mara.

  8. why don’t we just remake all South Korea’s movies?? What gives? This is a classic movie with a great Korean actor? I was aghast at the story and ending and didn’t think no one can top this. I guess I was wrong.

  9. Whatever – I know remake bashing has become the “it” thing for movie fans to do, but I don’t think ‘Dragon Tattoo’ or ‘Oldboy’ are going to be “Watered down” remakes. I think their going to be interesting re-imaginings of the source material that will stand strong on their own legs.

    Guess we’ll find out. I promise not to say I told you so.

  10. How about Kate Mara instead, shes my favorite Mara.

  11. “MALCOM X VS JASON”… lol

  12. I actually have hope for this because Lee and Brolin are a definite step up from the Spielberg/Will Smith pairing that was originally supposed to make this.