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Start Date For 'Oldboy' Pushed Back As Clive Owen Is The Latest To Turn Down A Role

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist January 6, 2012 at 3:22PM

We have to say, we're starting to become a little concerned about "Oldboy." Never exactly the most necessary of remakes in the first place, our interest was piqued when Spike Lee signed on to direct, swiftly followed by Josh Brolin; a talented, interesting pair who seemed to promise that this would be something a little more special than a quick-and-easy remake. 
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Clive Owen Turns Down Oldboy

We have to say, we're starting to become a little concerned about "Oldboy." Never exactly the most necessary of remakes in the first place, our interest was piqued when Spike Lee signed on to direct, swiftly followed by Josh Brolin; a talented, interesting pair who seemed to promise that this would be something a little more special than a quick-and-easy remake. 

But over time, we've begun to worry about the film, as more and more actors have passed on the other primary roles; Rooney Mara turned down the female lead, while Christian Bale and Colin Firth both declined to play the villain. The film was meant to be gearing up to shoot soon, but Variety's Jeff Sneider revealed on Twitter that the start date has been pushed back to late summer or early fall, ostensibly because of Josh Brolin's press commitments to "Men in Black 3," a film that's now taken up almost two years of the actor's time, on-and-off.

But is that the whole story? Because Sneider also reveals that Clive Owen, who was the latest to be offered the bad guy role, has similarly declined; and when the man who said yes to "The Killer Elite" turns you down, you know you might be in trouble. It's possible that he was being low-balled monetarily, but given the number of actors who've now passed on the film (and the lack of word on the offer received by Mia Wasikowska for the female lead), we start to wonder if our optimism about Mark Protosevich's script was misplaced. Assuming Lee's able to fill up his call sheet, "Oldboy" should hit sometime in 2013, albeit a little later than originally planned.

This article is related to: Spike Lee, Oldboy (Remake), Clive Owen, Men In Black 3, Josh Brolin


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