While they recently shared the stage at the 2012 BET Awards, it’s hard to believe that Samuel L. Jackson hasn’t been in a Spike Lee movie in twenty-one years; since 1991’s “Jungle Fever.” But that’s all about to change. With four feature-length collaborations under their belts (including “School Daze,” “Do The Right Thing” and “Mo Better Blues“), the duo are finally going to make a fifth: Jackson has landed a small but pivotal role in Lee’s upcoming adaptation of the second installment of Park Chan-wook‘s celebrated vengeance trilogy, “Oldboy.”
According to the L.A. Times, Jackson will play a man who is being tortured by the hero (Josh Brolin) in a key revenge scene (this may be revelatory for those who have seen the original, but we’re not going to discuss it here). While Lee himself has been coy about whether the picture is his next (“hopefully” is all he would allow in our recent interview with the filmmaker), the Times echoes recent reports that have said “Oldboy” will begin shooting in the fall in Louisiana and New York. Perhaps Lee is simply not counting his budget chickens until they are hatched on the first day of production.
Also returning to the Spike Lee fold is composer Bruce Hornsby who recently scored the director’s latest indie effort, “Red Hook Summer.” “I’m working on a few things and I’ll send them to Spike soon,” Hornsby told the LAT. “The ‘D’ word has been spoken to me by him,” the musician added, referring to a dark tone. “But I think the score will also run the gamut.” While Spike Lee films are generally known for their elegiac Terrence Blanchard scores, Hornsby and Lee are old pals. Hornsby wrote songs for “Clockers,““Bamboozled,” scored the documentary, “Kobe Doin’ Work,” and Lee in turn directed the videos for the composer/singer songwriter’s tracks, “Swing Street” and “Talk Of The Town.”
Lee’s “Jungle Fever” was Jackson’s breathrough and the actor, who played a crackhead in the film, understood the role all too well. “I was two weeks out of rehab. I’d been smoking cocaine for a year and a half, two years, and I understood the nature of the disease,” Jackson told Esquire last year. “I had done the research. So when I started talking to Spike about it, I said, “You don’t see him high that much. You always see him when he needs something. He’s on a mission to get some shit. That’s what I wanna do.” And that was my breakthrough. That got me into Hollywood. It was the perfect marriage of experience and opportunity.”
“Oldboy” also stars Sharlto Copley and may also star Elizabeth Olsen.