No stranger to violent, auteur-driven films (ie. Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive), FilmDistrict has acquired U.S. distribution rights to director Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy. The film is a redo of Park Chan-wook’s now-classic South Korean revenge pic and stars Josh Brolin as an advertising executive who is kidnapped and imprisoned for 20 years without explanation. He is abruptly released and sets out to discover the who and why of his captivity. Lee has put together an impressive lead cast, with Elizabeth Olsen as the female lead and Sharlto Copley as “an illusive man who allegedly holds the key to his salvation,” but the director ran into a bit of trouble finding financing for the pic. As such, word of FilmDistrict’s involvement is very good news indeed.
We recently heard that Samuel L. Jackson and Nate Parker were looking to join the cast, but the press release makes no mention of their involvement. Chan-wook’s film is incredible but I’m interested to see Lee’s take on the material, especially how he handles the story’s more graphic/disturbing content. Oldboy is expected to be released in 2013, so luckily we don’t have to wait long to find out. Hit the jump to read the press release, which includes a synopsis.
FILMDISTRICT ACQUIRES US DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS FOR
GOOD UNIVERSE’S ACTION THRILLER OLDBOY DIRECTED BY SPIKE LEE
The Remake of the Highly-Acclaimed South Korean Film is
Expected to Come to Theaters in 2013
Los Angeles September 7, 2012 – FilmDistrict announced today that it has acquired US distribution rights to Good Universe’s OLDBOY, the remake of the highly-acclaimed South Korean suspense film. The movie stars Academy Award® nominee Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sharlto Copley. The Spike Lee directed film is produced by Roy Lee and Doug Davison via Vertigo Entertainment and Nathan Kahane on behalf of Good Universe. Peter Schlessel, FilmDistrict’s CEO, Joe Drake of Good Universe, and John Middleton will executive produce. Mark Protosevich wrote the adapted screenplay and is co-producing. Audrey Chon and Matt Leonetti are overseeing the film for Good Universe. The film is also a 40 Acres & A Mule production.
FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel stated, “Spike Lee is the right filmmaker to reimagine and put his touch onto arguably one of the most talked about thrillers in recent memory. The cast that he and producers Nathan, Joe, Roy and Doug have put together is sure to elevate the material and engage audiences. FilmDistrict is proud to be releasing one of the first films from Good Universe here in the U.S.”
Good Universe’s Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane shared, “Nothing thrills us more than to partner with our longtime friend Peter and the exceptional team at FilmDistrict.”
OLDBOY follows the story of an advertising executive (Josh Brolin) who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement without any indication of his captor’s motive. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. His quest for revenge leads him into an ill-fated relationship with a young social worker (Elizabeth Olsen) and ultimately to an illusive man (Sharlto Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his salvation.
The original highly-acclaimed South Korean film, released in 2003 and directed by Chan-wook Park, won the Grand Prize Jury Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.