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It's Official! Josh Brolin Will Star In Spike Lee's "Oldboy" Adaptation

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 29, 2011 8:32 AM
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Last month, he was reportedly at the top of the short list of actors in contention for the role; today, it's been confirmed that Josh Brolin will indeed headline Spike Lee's US adaptation of Oldboy, the Japanese manga made popular by Park Chan-wook's 2003 award-winning film.

Production is scheduled to begin in March of 2012.

I know some of you folks automatically assumed that the lead role would go to a black actor, since Spike was attached. But, not-so-fast my friends. I never expected that to happen; unless the actor's name was either Will Smith or Denzel Washington. Will was actually once attached to star, but that obviously never came to fruition.

Regardless, I'm OK with this decision. I like Brolin as an actor.

Now let's see if Christian Bale signs on as well to take on the role as the film's villain.

Another question is just how faithful to the original Manga this Hollywood adaptation will be. Folks automatically make comparisons to the Park Chan-wook 2003 film; but keep in mind that, his film was an adaptation of the Japanese manga, as Spike's will be. So this is not a remake of Park Chan-wook's film, but an adaptation of the original manga.

Stay tuned...

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  • N'jaila Rhee | August 31, 2011 2:10 AMReply

    I'm against this remake. the original manga for Old Boy was sexist droll and had horrible pacing. Park Chan Wok spun a turn into GOLD when he made that film!

    I'd rather see a remake of that movie (naked Yoo Ji Tae included) than an adoption of that comic.

  • Dre Dizzle | August 30, 2011 3:36 AMReply

    C'mon people really? Oldboy will be a decade old when this hits the theaters, are Americans really that dumb? As I said when i first heard this, can't wait for Chan-Wook Park to remake Do the Right Thing. @TMC this is not "black folks" ripping on a black director. This is a cinephiles hating on lazy producers who rather than develop original content try to cash in on a proven success and then dumb it down for mass consumption!!!!! It's akin to someone reproducing a Picasso or Van Gogh, what's the value?

  • misha | August 30, 2011 2:16 AMReply

    Love Josh Brolin so I don't have a problem with this selection at all. But Brolin doesn't have big-time box office appeal (certainly never had to sell a movie as the star) so I'm not sure why a black actor not named Will or Denzel couldn't have gotten the part.

    In any case, I'm intrigued.

  • Laura | August 30, 2011 1:14 AMReply

    ***disregard my most recent comments***

  • Laura | August 30, 2011 1:13 AMReply

    You don't have to be Black to support Black cinema. We are an equal opportunity audience builder.

  • Sell Out | August 29, 2011 12:47 PMReply

    @TMC1655 I'm not Black

  • Laura | August 29, 2011 12:29 PMReply

    ***Walks in the door with a heavy sigh***

    Thanks for stopping by S&A.

    Make sure you support Black cinema by purchasing tickets to independent films

    ***Walks out the door shaking her head***

  • TMC1655 | August 29, 2011 12:17 PMReply

    Here we go again, Black folk ripping a filmakers opportunity to step sidways be creative as he might want even if it is a remake, I so disgusted with Black folks, they make my skin crawl, if it was Tyler Perry making this film you be clapping, if was some idiot rapper making his debut doing this film you be clapping out of your skin. if it was some White Director whose work you know nothing about and this was his first film you be all behind it. God it is so sad how Blacks have become, ass backwards and still celebrating life on the plantation!!

  • Laura | August 29, 2011 11:20 AMReply

    @Sell out


  • jessie's girl | August 29, 2011 9:44 AMReply

    fantastic choice! i had my fingers crossed for josh brolin.

  • Sell Out | August 29, 2011 9:40 AMReply

    @Laura - Hello Laura, aside form a slight case of cabin fever from this weekend's storm I'm fine and hope you are as well.

    For me a relevant filmmaker is a filmmaker that can enlighten and expose polemics within our current social or political nexus.

    I feel that Spike Lee's earlier work did exactly that. As did Zhang Yimou's (please do look him up and check out some of his 5th generation works!)

    But I feel that in recent years both filmmakers have opted for bigger budget crowd pleasers that, in fact, dull people's analytical skills rather than strengthen them. Inside Job, Miracle at St. Anna etc.

    And @tambay, maybe you're right, maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but I can still have my opinion.

    Because I really don't have a problem with any filmmaker making some cash or doing a big film every now and then. Everyone's got to eat although I think Mr. Lee has lived quite comfortably even before he started doing those films.

    I'm just saying it might be nice to respect a film he does again and I can't really see that re - or I'm sorry - making an adaptation of Oldboy is going to do that.

  • Cynthia | August 29, 2011 9:29 AMReply

    Love Josh Brolin. Liked the movie. I'm rooting for ya Spike! Ya Dig?

  • tambay | August 29, 2011 9:22 AMReply

    @ Sell Out - I'm not trying to "soften" nor ignoring anything. I'm stating a fact. Whether or not Park Chan-wook adapted it first or didn't. Spike's film isn't going to be a remake of Chan-wook's film. It's an adaptation of the source material. Won't be the first time that a book (literary, graphic, comic, etc) has been adapted multiple times by different filmmakers.

    I like Chan-wook's film, and I'm curious to see Spike's take on the material. But I frankly could care less whether the film gets made or not. I have little invested in it.

    And surely you're not only now becoming disillusioned with a system that's been operating as it's been for years now. Spike isn't immune.

  • Tombs | August 29, 2011 9:21 AMReply

    Will he have Josh floating in this one?

  • Laura | August 29, 2011 9:19 AMReply

    Hi Sell Out

    How you doin'?

    Could you tell me what defines a relevant film maker?

    Can you tell my why you consider Spike Lee irrelevant. (just curious)

    Why do you consider the remake of Old Boy a fast cash decision?

    And if it is, why shouldn't Spike Lee get "fast cash", (i.e. make a living doing films)? What is your objection about Spike Lee making "fast cash"

    ***I will look up Zhang Yimou. I am not familiar with the name***


  • Tombs | August 29, 2011 9:18 AMReply

    Will he having Josh floating in this one?

  • Duncan MaNutz | August 29, 2011 9:15 AMReply

    Love Spike...but gotta pass...I saw the original. Where is the creativity and originality ? Come On...people !

    They are doing a remake of "Foot Loose"...will this ever end ?

    Must see, please !!!! Click link below - The Decline of Creativity

  • Jug | August 29, 2011 9:14 AMReply

    Sell Out, let's give it some time. Because it may be in the same vein as TRUE GRIT, which was adapted more faithfully from Charles Portis' novel, but coming after the original TRUE GRIT film. I'm not saying this isn't "fast cash" because it is so quickly being done after the 2003 film (instead of decades after like John Wayne's TRUE GRIT) but it could very well be a "different" film with the same source material.

    An adaptation & a remake can co-exist in the same universe.

    Trick is, will it be any good?

  • Sell Out | August 29, 2011 8:58 AMReply

    OK - you can try to argue that Spike Lee is still a relevant filmmaker if you must, but to try and soften this "fast cash" decision by saying it will just be an adaptation and not a remake is ignoring the glaring fact that this film would not be made at all without Chan-Wook's original.

    It's not like they were sifting through the Manga before and Chan-Wook beat them to the punch.

    It's very disillusioning to see Spike Lee go down the same path as Zhang Yimou. But hey, money changes everything right?

  • Zeus | August 29, 2011 8:47 AMReply

    Excellent choice.

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