It looks like Spike Lee has got the man he wanted for his gestating "Oldboy" remake.
Last month, it was revealed that Josh Brolin was topping Mandate's wishlist for the lead role in the film and they've landed their first choice. Say what you will about remakes, and we definitely have had our issues with them, but the combination of Lee and Brolin is certainly very, very promising. The original film by Park Chan-Wook is based on the manga by writers Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya and is a very twisted story of revenge about a man kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years seemingly for random reasons. When the imprisoned man is finally released, he discovers he must find his captor’s motives in five days or the abductor will kill a recent female friend that the innocent man has made. Without spoiling the motivations or the twist, the Korean film provides a different motivation for the shocking climax than the manga does in addition to slightly reshaping the story. Apparently, for Lee’s film, screenwriter Mark Protosevich is using both the Korean film and the Japanese book as the basis for his script (and we presume it'll drop some of the more salacious elements for mainstream audiences).
So when will this roll? Brolin heads to "Gangster Squad" this fall and he'll team up with Lee for "Oldboy" after that, before working on Jason Reitman's "Labor Day" next summer. That will also give time for Lee to finish up his still (and impressively) mysterious follow up to "Do The Right Thing," the currently shooting "Red Hook Summer."
With Brolin in the lead, that leaves the other big meaty part of the villain to be filled and it's currently one of the many parts being mulled over by Christian Bale for this "The Dark Knight Rises" follow up. Brolin + Bale + Lee...do we dare to dream? In either case, this should project will hopefully put Lee back on the Hollywood radar after he couldn't quite capitalize on this massive success of "Inside Man." We've been looking for the director to take a big swing again, and this is definitely the most high profile project of his career. And yeah, while "Oldboy" doesn't have be remade we can't help but be curious and fascinated if Lee is at the helm. [Deadline]