Oldboy Remake Not Dead, Spike Lee to Direct?

Update: Deadline has confirmed that Spike Lee will indeed direct Oldboy.

Just when you thought that at least one unnecessary remake had wisely been put to rest, the madness starts up all over again. A few years ago, we heard that Will Smith was attempting to set up a remake of Park Chan-Wook’s shocking revenge thriller Oldboy, and that Steven Spielberg would produce and possibly direct it. Fortunately, rights issues supposedly complicated the situation so much that DreamWorks decided to walk away, and it seemed like the project might never end up seeing the light of day. Well, now this week it appears that the U.S. remake is still moving forward, and an a big name director is circling it. Would you believe that big name director is… Spike Lee?

According to Twitch, Spike Lee is indeed in talks to helm the remake, which is still being set up at Mandate Pictures. Doug Davison and Roy Lee are producing, while Mark Protosevich (Thor, I Am Legend) remains on board as the writer. It’s unclear if Protosevich’s original script will still be used or if he will start writing a new one with the help of Spike Lee.

It’s also unclear if Steven Spielberg or Will Smith are still involved in anyway. It seems unlikely that Spielberg would remain on board if DreamWorks pulled out, however, Smith was the one pushing for the project all along, and he did just pass on Django Unchained. Either way, Spike Lee is clearly an exciting choice to direct and one that should make this remake a lot more palatable for many people. What do you think, would you like to see an Oldboy remake directed by Spike Lee?

  • patrik

    I don´t know.. I love the original.. I´m sure it could be good and I´m sure I´ll end up seeing it if it happens.

  • Paul Andrews

    Let’s face it – it’s never going to be as good.

  • Captain N

    I can’t believe I am going to say this but a Spike Lee directed Oldboy sounds better than A Spielberg directed Oldboy starring Will Smith. I love the original and have been very curious to see what an American remake would be like. I always thought Scoresese should have jumped on board this project.

  • Colin

    Face it, he’s going to turn this into yet another overwrought “message’ film and no one other than Spike Lee is going to care.

  • milath

    Wait.. what’s wrong with Spike Lee?

    Maybe a message film. Maybe not.

    However, in the pro column, I think Spike definitely has the cajones to NOT change the controversial bits.

    May actually be a good choice…

  • Jonny Ashley

    Still sounds awesome to me, but somehow I doubt Lee would want to work with Will Smith on anything. Still, it would be really interesting to me either way.

  • Darksiders

    Ah damn. I accidentally read the opening as SPIKE JONZE and was super excited!

    Then my brain corrected itself and read Spike Lee. Eh…sounds like this movie won’t be too good. Lee is def better than Spielberg though.

    The original is so good. And the guy who wrote Thor and dumbed down the novella of I AM LEGEND doesn’t sound like a good choice for writer.

    I got a good idea. How about they just translate the ORIGINAL script into english and run from there?

  • Gil

    I wonder if Will Smith’s version would have had the hallway fight scene with CG Asians or whatever.

  • Mikey T


    Does an American director have the balls to effectivly show the ramifications of the incest factors which were critical in the original? Sissy North American audiences will certainly be turned off by that, but as I said it was critical to the original’s plot twist. Oldboy is probably in my top ten films of all-time. I like Spike, but this one needs to be left alone.

  • Plain wrong to remake this classic as it will never be better than the original.

    And Spike Lee couldn’t be further from the right choice to even have a shot at it.

  • Remake bad stuff that could of been good not good stuff that will never have been beaten!

  • latest news is that the remake will source material from the original oldboy manga and the Park Chan-Wook adaptation.

    so its good to hear that a straight reboot isn’t being attempted and perhaps an original twist can be given to it.