As I’ve already written, 2013 would appear to be the year that South Korea and Hollywood have become formally acquainted. Park Chan-wook and Kim Jee-woon made their US debuts with “Stoker” and “The Last Stand” respectively, while Bong Joon-ho has “Snowpiercer” coming our way. And in a tidy coincidence, one of Park’s most well-regarded films, 2004’s Cannes Grand Prix winner “Oldboy,” is getting the remake treatment this year courtesy of Spike Lee.
It’s certainly one of the more intriguing remake propositions of recent years. Park’s wildly stylized, grandiosely violent revenge thriller is a true one-off that can hardly be replicated, only reinterpreted; while Lee has dabbled with some success in genre cinema, he’s never done so with material this defiantly out there. The outspoken director has been on highly erratic form of late, so it’s anyone’s guess how the film — which stars Josh Brolin as an advertising executive on the hunt for his captors after being inexplicably imprisoned for 20 years — will turn out. It could be inspired. It could be calamitous. The odds are firmly stacked against it being boring.
The first official poster for the film, at least, suggests that Lee has retained the original’s strangeness (and, indeed, its imagery) to some extent. It’s a striking image that serves as a taster for the first trailer, which will be unveiled on Wednesday. The film opens Stateside on October 25; I would bet on it showing up in Venice (where Lee has premiered several films, including last year’s Michael Jackson doc “Bad 25”) and/or Toronto first.
Check out the poster below — does it grab your interest? Or would you rather Lee had left this one alone? Tell us in the comments.