- Cast: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson, Hannah Simone, Michael Imperioli, Grey Damon, James Ransone, Max Casella, Rami Malek, Lance Reddick, Hannah Ware, Stephanie Grote, Taryn Terrell, Linda Emond, Ciera Payton, Richard Portnow, Joe Chrest, Caitlin Dulany, Ilfenesh Hadera, Elvy Yost, Brett Lapeyrouse, Victoria Geil, Jay Oliver, Pom Klementieff, Philippe Radelet, Giovanni Silva, Austin Naulty, Cinqué Lee, Elvis Nolasco, Jon Arthur, Gralen Bryant Banks
- Director: Spike Lee
- Writer: Mark Protosevich
- Producers: Doug Davison, Roy Lee, Spike Lee
- Co Producers: Avram 'Butch' Kaplan, Sonny Mallhi, Mark Protosevich
- Executive Producers: Nathan Kahane, Dong-Joo Kim, John Powers Middleton, Peter Schlessel
- Art Direction: Peter Borck
- Casting: Kim Coleman
- Costume Design: Ruth E. Carter
- D.O.P.: Sean Bobbitt
- Editor: Barry Alexander Brown
- Makeup: Christien Tinsley
- Music: Michael Nyman
- Production Design: Sharon Seymour
- Set Decoration: Maggie Martin
"Oldboy" follows the story of an advertising executive 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 and ultimately to an illusive man (Sharlto Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his salvation.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: New Orleans, USA
- MPAA Warning: Strong brutal violence, disturbing images, some graphic sexuality and nudity, and language
- Production Budget: $30 million
- Production Companies: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Good Universe, OB Productions, Vertigo Entertainment
- Production Schedule: 1 October 2012 - 29 November 2012
2013 Guide Analysis: "As someone who is not a fan of Asian action films, the one or two that annually get hyped by my colleagues often fall decidedly flat for me - last year's "The Raid" for example. One of the few exceptions though was Chan-wook Park's "Oldboy," a film that not only lived up to all the hype, but surpassed it. Unlike many other films of this type, this one had an ambitious and daring plot, unexpected emotional twists, and truly effective character drama amidst all the inventive fight sequences and moments of shocking violence.
It has become a modern and revered cult classic in its own right, so the idea of a Hollywood remake seems frankly horrific, even with a serious artist like Spike Lee at the helm. Lee came onboard after the film went through several different directors, including Steven Spielberg helming a version in which Will Smith would have starred. At the time the plan was to adapt the original manga on which "Oldboy" is based, rather than outright remake the film. Lawsuit confusion, however, put a stopper on that approach.
In this version, an advertising executive (Josh Brolin) is kidnapped and held hostage for over a decade in solitary confinement without any indication of his captor's motive. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover just who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment, only to learn he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. His quest leads him into an ill-fated relationship with a young social worker (Elizabeth Olsen) and an illusive man (Sharlto Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his salvation.
Asked about the film in recent interviews, both Brolin and Olsen claim the new "Oldboy" will be as dark as the original. Producers say it's very similar, though there's a couple of new elements (about 20% of the overall story) designed to throw off audience members who have seen the original. The aim of scribe Mark Protosevich was "to take elements of [Chan-wook'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."
Unlike say "Akira," "Oldboy" is a story that's more adaptable to other countries and cultures. Also, the producers on these films are the same ones behind "The Departed" - a great example of a Hollywood remake of an Asian film that actually does work. The hammer fight scene, the live octopus eating, and even the ending are all here - in fact there's talk the ending for this remake will be even darker. Whether it works or not, it'll be an interesting watch either way."