As Alex mentioned last week, there was a rumor going around that Spike Lee was in line to direct an English-language remake of Oldboy, the highly-regarded and brain-shattering Korean thriller by Chan-wook Park. And, for once, a Hollywood rumor has actually panned out, as Mandate Pictures today confirmed that Lee will indeed be the director of the film.
The remake of Park Chan-wook's beloved revenge thriller, which has been in various stages of development since at least 2008, finally signed Lee, who, coincidentally, actually hasn't directed a film since 2008 (the critically-panned box office bomb Miracle at St. Anna).
The remake script was written by The Cell and I Am Legend screenwriter Mark Protosevich, and is being produced by Roy Lee, otherwise known as the guy who went out and bought the remake rights to every single Japanese and Korean horror movie that's been remade in America (including The Ring, The Grudge, and Shutter), executive producer of The Departed (itself a remake of the Hong Kong classic Infernal Affairs), and finally that Battle Royale remake that was apparently totally going to happen until the Virginia Tech campus shooting made that seem rather uncouth at the time. Now Hunger Games seems poised to scratch that competitive child murdering itch anyway, so we're probably better off.
Honestly? If someone has to remake the movie, and given that we're talking about Hollywood, someone must indeed, I could think of a lot worse directors to tackle the material than Lee. I'm curious what kind of personal touches he'll put on the material besides merely setting it in New York, or if any of the material will wind up being toned down for American audiences. There's no reason not to watch Oldboy if you haven't already; it's on Streaming, and is a fine way to ruin a good date night. I have a feeling Lee's version will be fine, so far as remakes go, but still - it'll have a hard time topping the original. The longer you wait, the more likely you'll have the ending spoiled for you, to boot.