The Only Way is Up! The mortal words of that retro pop song by Yazz in the 1980’s and those words are how you could describe Spike Lee‘s career at the moment, as Mandate Pictures confirm Park Chan Wook’s legendary OLD BOY , will be remade by Spike Lee.
In the shape of an official press release, Madate announced that the Do The Right Thing director will direct the Hollywood version with I Am Legend scribe Mark Protosevich on writing duties. This news brings to end the years of trying by Mandate to bring the classic Korean thriller to Hollywood, which started with an ambitious attempt by Steven Spielberg with Will Smith several years ago. We must give some praise to Twitch with their spot on news that Lee was in negotiations, news we reported last week , and if you like the idea of Hollywood getting their mucky hands on a classic piece of film; one thing we cannot deny is that Mandate have done some shrewd business in getting a filmmaker who won’t shy away from shocking the viewer. If Mandate got Spielberg Old Boy would have certainly have been a very generic remake which would have been a lamb to the slaughter by the critics, but with Lee at the helm he will give the Hollywood version a distinctive unique feel, even if his track record isn’t anything to write home about.
For anyone who may not have watched the original I do recommend buying or borrowing it from someone you know, before this new version arrives. Old Boy tells the story of a man kidnapped and held captive on his daughter’s birthday who has no idea why he’s been held captive and who is responsible. After 15 years he is given some new clothes, some money and he goes on a journey to find out the reason for his captivity and seek revenge.
On other Spike Lee news, the director tweeted that he’s returning to familiar ground to Red Hook Brooklyn a story about a man from Atlanta spending a summer there and Blackfilm are also reporting Lee will reprise his role from Do The Right Thing (also based in Red Hook Brooklyn) playing Mookie once more. To some the say “All Good Things Must Come To A End”, the good been the original Old Boy, will Spike Lee make a respectful but unique version of the classic thriller? Or will Old Boy lose its integrity destroyed by the monymen of Hollywood along with peoples selfishness not to watch original movies because they dont want to read subtitles!
Here’s the official Mandate press release courtesy of Collider
SPIKE LEE TO DIRECT OLDBOY
FOR MANDATE PICTURES and vertigo / 40 ACRES & A MULE
Mark Protosevich ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Los Angeles (July 11, 2011) – Mandate Pictures announced today that Spike Lee (Inside Man) will direct OLDBOY, a remake of the highly-acclaimed South Korean film. Mark Protosevich has adapted the screenplay and will co-produce. Roy Lee and Doug Davison (The Departed, The Grudge) will produce. The film is a Vertigo Entertainment/40 Acres & A Mule Production. Mandate President Nathan Kahane will executive produce.
“It’s a great honor to put this special project into the hands of such a gifted writer and iconic director,” said Kahane.
OLDBOY tells the story of a man who is kidnapped and imprisoned on his daughter’s birthday. For fifteen years, he is held captive, and, upon his release, must begin his journey to find the reason for his imprisonment. He soon finds out that his kidnapper has plans for him more tortuous than his solitary confinement. The original film, released in 2003, directed by Chan-wook Park won the Grand Prize Jury Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
Spike Lee and Mark Protosevich are represented by CAA. Dan Freedman, SVP of business affairs, negotiated the deals for Mandate.