“Old Boy” is a 2003 Korean film directed by the incredible Park Chan-Wook. Perhaps you already know this. If you know this, then maybe you have also seen this incredible, shocking thriller that took Cannes by storm. A remake has been in talks for a while and now, Spike Lee, director of “Do the Right Thing” and “Inside Man”, is set to direct the film.
Ever since news of a remake came up their has been an uproar in the fan community. Many, including myself, don’t see the point of a remake and think it is an insult to the original director to somehow think it can be done better. However, this film may not even be a remake of the movie but another adaptation of the manga. Will Smith wanted to do a film closer to the manga, which is very, very different from the film. With Spike Lee attached now it may be different, but the point still stands, should there be this much uproar over a remake or adaptation we know so little about? Especially considering the original film is…an adaptation?
If the idea itself is insulting to you, and “Hollywood is so UNORIGINAL!!” is the first thing to your lips (or fingertips) consider two things: 1) Some of the greatest films ever made are adaptations or remakes, “West Side Story” (musical), “Hamlet” (remade, how many times?), “A Fist Full of Dollars” (Kurosawa film) and “The Godfather” (novel), to name a few. And some really successful remakes can include “The Ring” (Japanese film), “The Departed” (Hong Kong film) and on the television front “Battlestar Galactica” (80s American tv show). 2) YOU vote with your dollars at the Box Office. Complain about lack of originality? Well, maybe you should skip out on the horrendous explosion fest that is “Transformers 3” which is excruciatingly unoriginal but has grossed over 200 million dollars already. Tired of the remakes and crappy adaptations? Maybe instead of “meh, Green Lantern’ll suck but I’ll see it anyway,” try “Green Latern will suck, let me watch ‘Attack the Block’ instead.”
Tangent aside, I am still slightly annoyed with the presumed pomposity of this remake (or adaptation). Even if it is an adaptation of the original manga, Hollywood is only making it because of the popularity of “Old Boy”, a movie popular for things not in the source material. On the other hand, hearing that they’ve chosen Spike Lee to direct the film demonstrates that this isn’t going to be a slapshot, thrown-together film for the sake of shocking alone. It is going to be–no matter what you may think of the end result–thoughtful and well-made.
Sound off, Readers. Spike Lee a good idea? This remake a good idea? Does Spike Lee change your opinions in how good or bad it will be?