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A possible "Oldboy" redux

Oldboy Will Smith and Steven Spielberg are reportedly planning to collaborate on a Hollywood remake of Chan-wook Park's 2003 thriller Oldboy. Sorry, but I just don't see it.

The scene in which Min-sik Choi beats off an army of bad guys wielding nothing but a hammer? Yes, Smith could definitely pull that off. He was born to pull stuff like that off.

The live octopus-eating bit? OK, sure. I wouldn't expect Smith to eat a live animal, but you can fake it and no harm done.

But the ending? Can you actually imagine Smith as Oldboy's protagonist during the last 5-10 minutes of the movie? I hope I'm wrong - I'd be interested to see a Spielberg redo of this one, just for the hell of it - but I can't picture Smith playing this character during the final scenes of the film. Stars of his magnitude have a certain screen persona to protect, and as good of an actor as he is, I don't think he'd be willing to go there.


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They need to keep the "gut-churning" - as well as the "wow-that-was-awesome - parts intact. Anyone willing to take on this project should be very mindful of that, although there is a lot in this movie that is traditionally anti-Hollywood and I don't know if Spielberg is as bold as Scorsese (The Departed) when it comes to retaining a great, startling ending from the original.

But I love Oldboy so much, and it has such a very sizable - for a foreign film - cult following in the U.S. that a re-do strikes me as a horrific plan. Then again remakes and recuts and sequels and prequels and adaptations and all things unoriginal is Hollywood's forte.


The mere thought of trying to remake that movie is wildly insulting.


One should never tamper with perfection. Oldboy is a perfect film.


Hollywood can't do something like Oldboy. They will mess up the ending by trying to make it happy, or at least less "icky."

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