Spike Lee Confirmed to be Directing ‘Oldboy’ Remake

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While details when it comes to filming schedules and actors are left off the press release, Mandate Pictures announced today that Spike Lee (Inside Man) will direct Oldboy, a remake of Chan-wook Park’s highly-acclaimed South Korean film. Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, Thor) has adapted the screenplay and will co-produce. Mandate President Nathan Kahane will executive produce and was quoted in the release saying, “It’s a great honor to put this special project into the hands of such a gifted writer and iconic director.”

The rumor that Lee would direct started only last Wednesday and just this morning we learned Lee was just starting to shoot a new project titled Red Hook Summer in which the helmer would direct as well as reprise his role as Mookie from his 1989 breakout feature Do the Right Thing.

Oldboy tells the story of a man who is kidnapped and imprisoned on his daughter’s birthday. For fifteen years, he is held captive, and, upon his release, must begin his journey to find the reason for his imprisonment. He soon finds out that his kidnapper has plans for him more tortuous than his solitary confinement. The original film, released in 2003, directed by Chan-wook Park won the Grand Prize Jury Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Park’s film was based on the Japanese manga of the same name written by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya. There is no word yet on how closely Protosevich’s script sticks to the manga compared to Park’s feature.

Previously Will Smith and director Steven Spielberg were eying the project and then Danny Boyle and Matthew Vaughn were among other names mentioned after Spielberg and Smith dropped out. The first time I reported on it was back in 2008.

It seems a bit odd Lee was recently quoted talking about how hard it is to get the money to get a movie made after not having made a feature film since 2008’s Miracle at St. Anna and in one day we learn he has two projects he’s attached to. Man, sure sounds rough.

For those unfamiliar with Park’s Oldboy, here is my favorite scene from that flick: