Building steadily for the past year, assembling a stellar cast including Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson and James Ransone (one of our 10 Undervalued Actors Who Deserve To Get More Work), production on Spike Lee's remake of Park Chan-Wook's outstanding "Oldboy" finally began in October. However, word since then has been relatively quiet, but leading man Josh Brolin has offered his take on the project and the people surrounding it.
While promoting the upcoming actioner “Gangster Squad” this past Friday, Brolin was questioned about the remake of the 2003 original, and he confirmed his work on the film is finished, and also offered a note on his early experience. Claiming initially to “have thought, 'Uh-oh, this could be a stinker' ” due to Lee's reportedly unconventional and ultra-violent approach to the material, he nonetheless regained his confidence by the end of filming and voiced his support for the “fantastic” director, as well as a few other talents in the cast and crew. He said he was “blown away” by Elizabeth Olsen, and also singled out Sean Bobbitt, who shot Steve McQueen's “Hunger” and “Shame,” as an “unbelievable” addition to the team.
The actor also addressed the question of the faithfulness of the picture to either Chan-Wook Park's film or Garon Tsuchiya's manga, saying the movie shares similarities to the first "Oldboy" “only in its structure.” He then added, “It's more of an interpretation than it is a remake. I called Park Chan-Wook myself and I asked him, 'You know, I need your blessing in order to do this, because I won't do this without your full support.' He said, 'Absolutely, just don't do the same movie,' and we're not. I think it's going to turn out brilliant.”
If not brilliant, Brolin's intriguing hints promise at the very least another singular work from Lee, one that will be finally made visible when FilmDistrict brings “Oldboy” to theatres on October 11, 2013.