Josh Brolin Talks OLDBOY Remake; Says Film Has Chan-wook Park’s Blessing and Includes Hammerfight and Octopus Scenes

     May 3, 2012


Like most of you, I’m incredibly excited/nervous about Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake.  Director Chan-wook Park’s 2003 South Korean revenge pic is an instant classic, and though I think Lee is certainly capable of great filmmaking, he’s had more than his fair share of flops.  Josh Brolin is set as the lead, Elizabeth Olsen has signed on as the female lead, and District 9 star Sharlto Copley recently landed the villain role.  We haven’t heard much about what Lee’s remake entails other than a promised “darker ending,” but Brolin recently talked quite a bit about the film and his hesitation to remake such a brilliant piece of work.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

josh-brolin-oldboyDuring the press junket for Men in Black 3, Brolin was asked for his thoughts on the remake and acknowledged the enormity of the shoes they have to fill (via /Film):

Oldboy? Literally you say Oldboy and my stomach just goes Grrrrrr [mimics twisting and turning]. Oldboy will be an experience, man. It wont be like Men In Black, I’ll tell you that much. I’m really happy about it. We’ve gotten amazing actors: Liz Olsen, who I think is fantastic and we also got Sharlto Copley from District 9 who I think is going to be unbelievable. He just wrote me an e-mail and was like, ‘Look, I’ve got to get this out of the way. Dude, Goonies is my favorite film of all time,’ which I thought was really sweet. And now I’m going to make 20 years of your life miserable.”

oldboy_movie_poster_01Not to fear, though, as the actor went on to note that he sought out Chan-wook Park’s blessing before taking the role:

“I love Oldboy and I’m close with Chan-wook Park and I emailed him a couple months ago, just asking for his blessing to do this movie because if he had said ‘No,’ I wouldn’t have done it. But I really respect his movie and we’ll make a little different movie and this whole idea of a more Hollywood version of it? Whatever. We’re just going to make a different version but have respect to the initial story and premise. I’m looking forward to it, man. I’m talking about it nervously right now because it makes me nervous.”

As a follow-up, Brolin was asked if they’d keep the now-famous hammerfight:

“Yes, by the way. Yes. And it’s a hammer and knife and all that stuff. And then will we keep the octopus, will we keep the other stuff? There’s some changes but I think it’s really good. It still makes me throw down the script half way through. Whoa.”

Brolin really does seem passionate about the original and it’s obvious that he doesn’t want to do anything would tarnish that film.  It’s refreshing to see that he’s just as nervous (if not moreso) about the remake than the fans are, but I think Lee has assembled a terrific cast so I’m excited to see how it turns out.  Production is expected to begin this October, after Brolin wraps Jason Reitman’s Labor Day.  For those unaware, or if you’d like a refresher, the trailer for Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy is embedded below.  If you haven’t seen the film, I highly suggest you add it to your Netflix Instant Watch queue ASAP.


  • pooper

    Oldboy was pretty frickin’ special!

  • Deepak

    Normally I’d say I don’t see the point of making this movie, but after Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo last year, I’m not gonna rag on foreign remakes. I just hope this justifies its existence by being at least as good as the original.

  • Nahian

    Chan-wook Park is high up there with Scorsese, Spielberg & David Lynch. He is far better than Fincher or even Spike Lee. Oldboy is a masterpiece and remaking it would be a sin. It would be like remaking the Godfather. Its sad that very few people watches foreign film & they are not aware of Chan-wook Park’s magic. His movies will haunt you forever. No.1 director in Asia for me.

    • Kashfi

      I totally agree with Nahian; remaking this Oldboy is just such a gutless move. I can’t believe Lee doesn’t have anything original to make that he has to take someone else’s masterpiece instead of making his own.

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  • David Snarks

    Chan-wook Park’ is an incredible director. OldBoy is indeed a masterpiece. Woven like fine silk, the movie will be difficult to tune without. Min-sik Choi’s work in that movie was AWARD quality-no doubt. Josh Brolin will have his work cut out for him handling that intensity. I’m betting fans of Park will not go see it. I may rent the movie when it becomesa DVD just to compare but…damned, OldBoy is a tight movie!

  • Disya

    You have here my voice from russia at this point for the catharsis Oldboy delivered.

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