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FilmDistrict Acquires Spike Lee's 'Oldboy' Remake (VIDEO)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 7, 2012 at 11:02AM

In the wake of a successful launch for "Safety Not Guaranteed" and strong response to opening nighter "Looper," FilmDistrict has moved decisively to acquire U.S. distribution rights for Spike Lee's remake of Chan-wook Park's 2003 South Korean thriller classic "Oldboy." They plan a 2013 release.
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Spike Lee

In the wake of a successful launch for "Safety Not Guaranteed" and strong response to opening nighter "Looper," FilmDistrict has moved decisively to acquire U.S. distribution rights for Spike Lee's remake of Chan-wook Park's 2003 South Korean thriller classic "Oldboy." They plan a 2013 release.

Nathan Kahane at Good Universe developed the adaptation by co-producer Mark Protosevich, and brought in Lee and an ensemble led by Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sharlto Copley. FilmDistrict CEO Peter Schlessel bought rights from Kahane and his Good Universe partner, ex-Lionsgate exec Joe Drake; John Middleton will executive produce. Audrey Chon and Matt Leonetti are overseeing the film for Good Universe.  The 40 Acres & a Mule Production is produced by Roy Lee and Doug Davison via Vertigo Entertainment.

Lee is on a roll as "Red Hook Summer" plays around the country and his Michael Jackson doc "Bad 25" nabbed strong reviews out of Venice in advance of its Toronto showing and Thanksgiving broadcast on ABC.

Here's the synposis.

OLDBOY follows the story of an advertising executive (Josh Brolin) who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement without any indication of his captor’s motive.  When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. His quest for revenge leads him into an ill-fated relationship with a young social worker (Elizabeth Olsen) and ultimately to an illusive man (Sharlto Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his salvation.

Coming up for FilmDistrict are another remake, "Red Dawn," starring Chris Hemsworth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Adrianne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson, Isabel Lucas, and Josh Peck (November 21, 2012) and the romantic comedy "Playing for Keeps" starring Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judy Greer, and Dennis Quaid (December 7, 2012).

Good Universe produced Sony's "Hope Springs," starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell; and will soon launch CBS Films comedy "Last Vegas," starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, and Morgan Freeman. They are also partnered with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert's Ghost House, which released "The Possession," via Lionsgate this August.

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, Spike Lee, Remake


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.