“Picture yourself lying in a field. When you hear the bell, you will turn your head and look down. You will see an endless field of green grass. The sun is shining brightly. There’s a cool breeze.”
These words send chills down the spine of moviegoers familiar with the 2003 film Oldboy, directed by Chan-wook Park. The newly released poster for Spike Lee’s 2013 remake displays the image of a man climbing out of a box in a grassy field, along with the quotation, “Ask not why you were imprisoned. Ask why you were set free.” For fans of the original, the familiar imagery reigns true to the 2003 release and makes use of a small portion of the films seemingly endless symbolism. For newcomers, it draws plenty of interest with this eerie imagery and mysterious quote in order to help generate interest for the upcoming premiere.
While there are rumblings of disapproval from fans of the 2003 release, the fact remains that Spike Lee’s version of this puzzling revenge thriller is one step closer to premiering this October. With Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen leading the way, and Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson supporting, this film is likely to turn a few heads including both fans of the original and newcomers alike. In fact, early word have said that the film is equally, if not moreso, brutal as the original and features elements of surrealism to the proceedings.
There has been some scrutiny placed on Lee for remaking a film that is considered to be extremely well made already. However, the director plans to incorporate new material in the story with the help of screenwriter Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, Thor). According to Twitch, “… the goal here is not to create a slavish shot-for-shot remake but to take elements of [Park’s film] combined with elements of the manga and completely re-envision and re-contextualize those to create a specifically American story around the same concepts and themes.”
Regardless of what your opinion is, the remake is still set to release this fall and the original still holds one of the best concepts for a revenge film. Spike Lee has taken on the daunting task of living up to expectations while remaking the Korean classic, Oldboy. Now that the poster has gone live, it’s only a matter of time before we see footage from the remake in action.
– By Nick Hiras