After dragging itself out of a dispute over rights to the original story, Oldboy (a Japanese manga by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya that was adapted into a critically acclaimed Korean movie in 2003), is back on track to be made into a Hollywood remake. There are three big-name directors who could become attached to the project: Steven Spielberg (…no introduction needed, I would imagine), Matthew Vaughn (Kickass, Layer Cake), and Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting). Last anyone heard, Will Smith would be starring in the lead role.
While I like Will Smith and enjoyed Kickass and Slumdog Millionaire, I’m… not entirely sure how a Hollywood remake of Oldboy will fare. The original movie was fantastic, though, twisted and dark and tightly woven. I really recommend seeing it. Here’s the trailer.
The film follows the story of one Oh Dae-Su, who is locked in a hotel room for 15 years without knowing his captor’s motives. When he is finally released, Dae Su finds himself still trapped in a web of conspiracy and violence. His own quest for vengeance becomes tied in with romance when he falls for an attractive sushi chef.
The film won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and high praise from the President of the Jury, director Quentin Tarantino. Critically, the movie has been well received in the United States, with an 80% “Certified Fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Film critic Roger Ebert has claimed Oldboy to be a “…powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare”. In 2008, voters on CNN named it one of the ten best Asian films ever made.