[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he threat of Spike Lee’s English language re-imagining of Korean horror favourite Oldboy has been hanging over us for quite some time. Fans of the original film have gone through all the usual emotional stages; denial, anger, acceptance, and finally, curiosity. Unfortunately, there is still quite some way to go until our curiosity will be sated, not only because we have heard almost nothing about the content or production of the remake, but also because the planned release date of October 11th 2013 has now been pushed back another two weeks to October 25th.
Directed by Chan-wook Park, the original 2003 film tells the disquieting story of a man imprisoned in a hotel room for fifteen years for no apparent reason. Upon his release, he attempts to find out the identity of his captors and take bloody revenge. A firm favourite with horror fans, Oldboy is a brilliantly constructed and almost unwatchably strange and violent piece of cinema, with a shocking denouement that’ll make your head spin.
The remake, which stars Josh Brolin alongside Samuel L. Jackson, is not expected to come anywhere close to the intense insanity of the original. Taking into account Lee’s idiosyncratic directing style, it seems unlikely that his version will stop at a straight remake, but we know almost nothing about the actual content of the film other than that the plot appears to be following the same lines as the original.
Now that we have a seemingly solid release date, one would hope that some images or a nice juicy teaser trailer will soon be forthcoming. Up to now, the only thing we have had to speculate about is one teaser poster. Admittedly, the teaser poster is a very nice piece of work – black with the film’s title in white, adorned with a series of red marks which denote the amount of time the main character spends in captivity (upped from fifteen to twenty years for poor old Brolin).
We’d like a little more insight into what’s coming, but perhaps the unusually quiet build up to the release is simply mirroring the mysterious plot. It is to be hoped that Lee will attempt to surprise fans of the original with a few well-chosen departures from the story, but we are being given no clues as to what these might be.