Spike Lee's remake of Park Chan-wook's Oldboy doesn't hit theaters until October, and that just seems way too long to wait. I'm genuinely excited to see what Lee does with the material and am envisioning a revenge (and blood)-soaked 25th Hour. The good news is that FilmDistrict has finally dropped a tiny morsel from the upcoming film. The bad news: it's chicken scratch.
The distributor has unveiled a teaser poster for the film at CinemaCon, which is taking place in Las Vegas April 15-18. The symbolism borrows from Park's original: they're the scratches that the imprisoned protagonist Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik ) uses to keep track of time.
That character gets an American makeover in Lee's version: He's now Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin), and, according to the official synopsis he's an advertising executive
"who is abruptly kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. 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."
These clues leave me with a handful of questions, most of them having to do with other plot points from the original that are ripe for homage:
1) There are a lot of advertising executives I'd like to see locked away, but for 20 years? What did he do, devise those Kia ads with the hipster hamsters?
2) In the original Oh Dae-su tracked down his captor via the dumplings he was fed in prison every day. If an American comfort food is substituted, what will it be? Macaroni & Cheese?
3) Will the live octopus-eating scene be referenced? (If you haven't watched the original Oldboy, you should, but, in the meantime, I've posted the scene below.)
4) Will incest figure into the plot as it did in the original? If so, American audiences will squirm enough that reprising the live octopus scene won't be necessary.
5) Does Lee's brother Cinqué Lee have a thing about playing bellhops? He plays one in this movie, and he played one in Jim Jarmusch's 1989 film Mystery Train.
If you crave more Oldboy info while you wait for a trailer, check out my interview with director Park in which he explains why he's not interested in seeing Lee's remake until it's released.
And order up some live sushi:
Now that's fresh
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