Samuel L. Jackson Signs Up for Spike Lee’s ‘Old Boy’

Published 2 years ago by

samuel l jackson oldboy Samuel L. Jackson Signs Up for Spike Lees Old Boy

It appears as though Samuel L. Jackson is getting in on two polarizing remakes on the horizon: RoboCop, directed by José Padilha (Elite Squad), and Old Boy from director Spike Lee and screenwriter/co-producer Mark Protosevich (The Cell, I Am Legend, Thor).

The working relationship between Lee and Jackson goes back a couple decades, as the latter had minor roles in such classic Lee “joints” as School Daze, Do the Right Thing, and Mo’ Better Blues. Jackson’s most famous dramatic performance in a Lee film is that of Gator Purify in Jungle Fever, where he portrayed Wesley Snipes’ crack addict brother.

Lee’s Old Boy is the latest installment in a longtime Hollywood tradition of American-ized takes on foreign cinema, which has produced such titles as The Magnificent Seven – a westernized take on Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai – to Martin Scorsese’s Best Picture-winner The Departed, based on the cult Hong Kong crime-thriller Infernal Affairs. Protosevich is not only drawing inspiration from Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy movie, but also Nobuaki Minegishi’s source comic book.

One of many memorable, gruesome, moments in Park’s Oldboy sees protagonist Dae-su Oh (Min-sik Choi) extracting information from a guard – who helped keep him imprisoned for 15 years – while yanking his teeth out with a claw hammer. Josh Brolin takes over the lead role in Lee’s retelling, while Jackson plays the man who is brutalized by our anti-hero.

According to Movies Now, Brolin uses a different torture method other than teeth removal on Jackson that’s still “plenty painful.” Add that to the list of promising tweaks to the original story in Lee’s Old Boy, along with a technically-innovative refashioning of the famous single-take hallway battle from Park’s movie – and an ending that producer Roy Lee teases as even darker than the shocking conclusion to its predecessor.

oldboy remake Samuel L. Jackson Signs Up for Spike Lees Old Boy

Min-sik Choi in Chan-wook Park's 'Oldboy'

The question of how Lee’s Old Boy could possibly recreate the gut-punch of Park’s Oldboy was raised during an interview with costar Elizabeth Olsen, who was playfully (but firmly) coy about the new conclusion. Still, if there’s one American filmmaker who’s always up for tackling taboo subject matter, it’s Lee (see: the controversy over a scene involving sex and the Bible in his latest production, Red Hook Summer).

Old Boy also features District 9‘s Sharlto Copley as the demented villain who is responsible for Brolin’s 15-20 year imprisonment. There was some mild concern expressed among fans about the racially-insensitive character descriptions in a leaked casting call for the film, but Lee has offered assurances that information is outdated (and thus, the supporting cast will be respectfully diverse).

Filming on Old Boy begins in New Orleans and New York this fall, without an official release date set. We’ll let you know when that changes.

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Source: LA Times

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TAGS: Old Boy, oldboy

10 Comments

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  1. Ah, so Brolin’s got the lead, that’s interesting.

    I was pretty pessimistic about this re-make, but if Brolin can pull of the manic/desperateness of the original film’s lead character, it could well turn out to be the role of his career.

    The original film is just pure magic, i don’t see how they can better it.

    • Elizabeth Olsen’s casting is another +1 though, in my book.

  2. I’ve never seen the original, but this sounds pretty cool.
    Guess I’ll have to check out the original to see what I’m in for when the re-make hits.

    • If you’re going to try to watch the original do yourself a favor and try to find a version with subtitles. I tried to watch the dubbed version on Netflix Streaming and it was terrible. I had to stop it half way through because the dubbing was so bad…

      • Thanks for the advice man, I’ll do so.

        • you really need to see it as soon as possible!!! the new one might be good, but the original is stunning!! and after that, watch lady vengeance.

      • i know, its sad, there so many awesome foreign films on netflix, but why don’t they play subtitles or at least have an option?

    • but be carefull, it is a very dark movie.

  3. You really should avenger pretty could Sony know how they get any more taboo than the original but hope it is good

  4. Spike lee better not screw it up!

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