Who woulda thunk that I would have ended up anticipating the remake of Oldboy? Way back when, back when it was Spielberg and Will Smith doing it, I was full of terror at the prospect. There was no way these two guys would deliver anything even in the same realm that Park Chan-Wook pulled off, and the idea of a softened, saccharine version of Oldboy made me sad. But now that it’s Spike Lee directing and Josh Brolin starring… oh yeah, I’m on board.
I don’t know that Spike will keep all the elements of the original, but I do know that he and Brolin are guys who will go dark places if the material dictates. What’s more, I think that Spike’s style - big and theatrical and not always interested in strict realism - will work perfectly with the material. The big question, of course, is what elements will the script by Mark Protosevitch retain from the original film (and let’s not keep pretending this is an adaptation of the manga, which nobody on earth cares about). I don’t know how Hollywood this movie will be, but I can easily see Brolin being the sort of actor who will happily, and with great gusto, go to all the horrible, nasty places the original Korean version went.
Sometimes remakes don’t have to be horrible.