Start Date for Spike Lee’s OLDBOY Pushed Back; Clive Owen Unlikely to Play Villain

     January 6, 2012


Men in Black 3 is why we can’t have nice things. Production on Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy was gearing up to begin this spring, but now due to star Josh Brolin’s press commitments for the trouble-laden Men in Black 3, Variety’s Jeff Sneider reports that the start date has been pushed to late summer/early fall. But that’s not all, as Sneider quickly followed up with the bad news that Clive Owen is now unlikely to take on the villain role in the pic. Details on why Owen may pass aren’t given, but it’s possible that the production move caused scheduling difficulties (though creative differences/monetary disputes could also be the culprit).

Owen makes the third such actor (that we know of) to turn down a part in the pic, as Colin Firth and Christian Bale both declined the villain role and Rooney Mara turned down the female lead. Last we heard, an offer was out to Mia Wasikowska for the female role, but news on that front has been quiet. I’m still eagerly anticipating Lee’s take on the story, but the casting troubles do give me pause. Hopefully the director is able to round the cast out with some fine actors sooner rather than later.


  • Edward Lee

    Yeah, I’m really in no big hurry to watch Spike Lee frak up one of the greatest, coolest pictures ever made, so no problems here.

    • Leonardo

      I’m with you man, it’s a great movie and even though the remake is creating a great cast and has a decent director i won’t hold my breath.

  • Amina

    Why do Hollywood have to ruin everything?? Stop remaking foreign films. Just because they have no ideas of their own, doesn’t mean they can badly remake brilliant foreign films. Korea makes some of the best movies in the world and Hollywood ALWAYS ruin it. Do they actually think that people haven’t seen the original? Or maybe they think the ‘Hollywood’ version will be far superior. Maybe they think they’re doing us a favour by bringing these foreign films to the masses. Pfft, do me a favour. There has NEVER been a decent Hollywood remake. Just stop it. Please? They know it’ll be abysmal, so what the hell is the point?

    • Jackie

      Nobody is going to force you to watch it.

      People like you are so annoying.

      Also, saying that there have never been any decent remakes is incredibly ignorant.

    • Henry Gondorf

      I’ve got to agree with Jackie, saying there has NEVER been a decent Hollywood remake is beyond ignorant. Have you ever heard of The Departed?

      • will

        I don’t think the problem is necessarily that hollywood is filled with incompetent directors. but the remakes are simply superfluous and this includes the Departed. I enjoyed the movie very much but, to be honest, it was unnecessary given how good the original was. I think people could have gotten the same thing out of the original if they’d watched it.

        I think much of the anger comes from the audiences themselves: 1) many will be unaware that the films are remakes and falsely attribute genius to the filmmakers (who are still talented in the case of the Departed) 2) sometimes remakes ARE more accessible for american audiences because they refuse to pay to watch Asian actors lead in films (this applies for other races as well), a frustrating little sidenote about American culture in general, not just Hollywood.

      • Tommy

        I also agree with Jackie and Henry. No one is forcing you to watch the remakes and just because some fail it doesn’t automatically mean that all will. There are some that constantly bitch and moan about remakes that will be bad before they even got to see them. How do you know for sure that a movie will be bad if you haven’t seen it?? Furthermore and I know this is a bit off the mark but some also complain about 3D films which is even more stupid as you can always opt for the 2D version. So why complain about 3D, it’s not gonna change anything especially since the box office proves that the lot enjoys 3D (myself included). My apologies for the rant but this is something that’s been annoying me for a while now and so I thought to throw it out there.

    • Adam

      Remakes don’t always have to be bad. Scorsese made a BETTER film with “The Departed”. The Coen Brothers made “True Grit” a better film (although yes, there was a book to draw from there). Fincher’s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is a great film, too. There’s nothing wrong with remakes, per se. It just depends if the filmmakers make a good film, like anything else. Lee can be a great filmmaker, and his more commercial films lately have proven he can work brilliantly in the crime genre. While I agree that there’s really no REASON to remake “Oldboy” (apart from the fact that it’s a great story, and most Americans aren’t going to see it), it could still be fascinating to make a film of it with American characters. It might be a great movie. Too much pre-judging without evidence on this page.

  • Elitist Prick

    This movie looks like it’s descending into Development Hell, and it’s welcome to reside there forever. Look, the Korean original walks such a thin line; it could have been a ridiculous and laughable (and accidental) farce that no one took seriously. But it has just the right ingredients and proportions to be compelling, exciting, uncomfortable, and fascinating. A remake, no matter how well-intentions, has about as much of a chance as hitting that same balance as I do in being chosen to direct a new Star Wars movie.

  • Benajmin Reid

    They should cast Stephen Colbert as the bad guy. I would watch it and you know that you would too.

  • Harold Stein

    The original sucked and this one will be no different.

  • sfgfsdhdf
  • BrandonHeat07

    Owen got out while he still could!! Brolin should do the same…

  • IEDb
  • bunchabastards

    Y’know that this flick is retelling of the original manga and not the Korean film, which is drastically different from the manga? Do some research before derping on the internet.

    • will

      that’s what they officially say but i’m willing to bet that the producers saw the film and thought it was awesome before they’d even heard of the manga.

      personally, i’m not against remakes but i have some personal attachment to this movie which makes me feel like an American remake would do it no good. i feel like it’d be like remaking the Godfather (and if that got remade… i just wouldn’t know what to say).
      no need to do it and the original was already perfect.

  • Alexandra

    Why wait, just watch the original and be done with it. It definitely had its moments but was so non-plausible that its kinda ridiculous. The good ol’ twist at the end. It tried a bit too hard. But a cult classic.

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  • Kike

    I hope im wrong but when you see a lot of actors, droping out of a proyect, you can see problems. Come one old boy it´s a great story, a great movie. Just ask yourself why they don´t want to work in this “great” remake.

    What it´s next Itchy the killer??

  • Deron

    I think most men are finding it immoral to be the actor that fucks the brains out of the daughter – someone needs to tell them that it is just acting.

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