Just five days after word surfaced that Spike Lee was in talks to direct Oldboy, Mandate Pictures has announced the Oscar-nominate filmmaker will helm the long-discussed U.S. remake of Park Chan-Wook’s South Korean revenge classic.
Based on the manga series by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, Oldboy centers on a man kidnapped and held captive for 15 years with only a television for company. When he's suddenly released, he sets out to discover the identity of his captor and the reason for his imprisonment, only to find that his kidnapper has even worse plans for him. The original film, released in 2003, won the Grand Prize Jury Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
Several directors, including Steven Spielberg, have been connected to the planned remake, with Will Smith at one point expressing an interest in starring. However, the publisher of the manga filed a lawsuit against the movie's producers for giving the film rights to Spielberg without permission. Spielberg and Smith walked away from the project, leaving Oldboy dead by late 2009.
The Mandate Pictures version features a screenplay by Mark Protosevich (I am Legend, Thor), who was attached to the remake when Spielberg was attempting to acquire the rights. Roy Lee and Doug Davison (The Departed, The Grudge) will produce, with Protosevich co-producing. Mandate President Nathan Kahane will executive produce.