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Will and Spielberg team up for "Oldboy"


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Spielberg/Smith's Oldboy Gets A Writer

Mark Protosevich to tackle remake

We thought we might have been dreaming when we wrote last week that Steven Spielberg and Will Smith were teaming up for a remake of the ultra-violent, deeply twisted and utterly fantastic South Korean thriller Oldboy.

It seems that we were wide awake, though, with today’s news that Mark Protosevich has entered early negotiations to adapt Park Chan-wook’s masterpiece, about a man who’s inexplicably imprisoned for fifteen years and seeks vengeance once he’s released, for an American audience.

Good luck to him, for anyone who’s au fait with the source material will know that there’s some dark, envelope-pushing material in Chan-wook’s movie; the sort of material you’d normally expect the likes of Spielberg and Smith to avoid like the plague.

But both men have shown a willingness in recent years to embrace less obviously commercial material, and their take on Oldboy will be nothing less than fascinating.

Protosevich and Smith have history together – Protosevich co-wrote I Am Legend for the star – and that paid off when Smith apparently invited the writer to meet with Spielberg. The ‘Berg seems to have liked what the Poseidon writer had to say. Let’s hope it involved the words ‘hammer fight’ in there somewhere.

It’s all still early days, though, and DreamWorks has not yet completed the purchase of the remake rights from Mandate Pictures, but with a writer, star and director on board, looks like we might be reunited with Oldboy sooner than we thought.


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  • 2 months later...

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Oldboy’ Adaptation To Be ‘Nothing Less Than Stunning,’ Says Will Smith

It’s been several months since we last heard about Steven Spielberg’s plans to adapt the popular manga “Oldboy” into a live-action film starring Will Smith, but fans of both the manga and the original live-action adaptation released in 2003 have been buzzing about whether the edgy story will be softened for American audiences.

With the film and the original manga well-known for their disturbing themes — a crucial plot point involves incest — and graphic violence, is the typically family-friendly Spielberg up to the task of staying true to the dark, violent nature of the story?

“It’s the thing that Steven was attracted to,” Smith told MTV News. “We’re working from the comic and we haven’t done anything other than talk about it. So we’ll see what happens, but he’s not going to do anything that would be less than stunning.”

“Oldboy” tells the story of a young man who has been imprisoned in solitary confinement for a decade of his life, with only a television as a link to the outside world. When he finally breaks free, he sets off on a quest to exact vengeance upon his unknown jailers. The manga was previously adapted to the screen by Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, whose film garnered substantial critical accolades around the world upon its release, and has received high praise from action-film junkies such as Quentin Tarantino.

In one of the story’s most memorable and visceral scenes, the film’s protagonist turns up at a sushi restaurant after years of eating gruel in his prison, and demands to “eat something alive.” His tormentors present him with a live octopus that nearly kills him as he devours it, making for an unforgettable — and controversial — sequence.

So, cross your fingers and hope that Will Smith has an appetite for octopus, “Oldboy” fans!

Do you think Will Smith and Steven Spielberg will make a faithful version of ‘Oldboy’? Do you want to see Smith chow down on live octopus? Tell us!


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an action comedy, nothing like hancock, something more like bad boys or independence day. Ill even do with a enemy of the state kinda movie but something in which we can see Will being Will, and not covering his charm

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Old Boy Publisher Sues Korean Studio Over U.S. Film Rights

Futabasha asserts that Show East nullified their contract by pushing for remake

Futabasha, the Japanese publisher of Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi's Old Boy manga, is suing the Korean film production company Show East over the rights to remake the story into a Hollywood film. In the story, a man who was imprisoned for over a decade hunts down his mysterious former kidnappers to take revenge. Show East had produced the popular, critically acclaimed 2003 Korean film version that Chan-wook Park directed. The lawsuit was revealed at the Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday, although the lawsuit was actually filed on Monday.

Futabasha is suing to confirm the lack of a binding contract between the two parties, due to an alleged breach. Futabasha asserts that Show East violated its basic agreement with Futabasha, and thus nullified it, when Show East pushed for the production of a film remake with America's Universal Pictures. Show East signed its contract with Futabasha over film rights in September of 2002, and signed a second contract in December of 2003 that amended the original one to cover other materials.

3 million people saw Park's Old Boy film in South Korea. The Variety entertainment trade news source reported last November that director Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws) and action star Will Smith (Independence Day, I Am Legend, Men in Black) were discussing a possible collaboration to remake the film. However, later that same month, Smith told the Film School Rejects website that Spielberg's team was adapting the original Old Boy manga, and not remaking Park's film version.

Dark Horse Comics published the manga in North America from 2006 to 2007, and the manga won an Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Japan in 2007.


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"Old Boy" proceeds despite legal scuffle

By Gavin J. Blair and Park Soo-Mee

TOKYO/SEOUL (Hollywood Reporter) - Steven Spielberg and Will Smith are moving forward with plans for a remake of "Old Boy" despite a complex, behind-the-scenes rights wrangle involving the Japanese publishers of the original manga and the Korean producers of Park Chan-Wook's 2003 cult hit.

Futabasha, publisher of the manga by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya, has filed a case against Show East in Seoul, alleging the Korean company never had the right to negotiate a remake.

The issue is further complicated by the fact that Show East has shut down and its CEO, Kim Dong-Ju, has disappeared. Big Egg, a co-producer of the ultra-violent revenge flick, has also closed up shop, and its former staffers are unreachable.

"We haven't been able to confirm that Show East is bankrupt, and at this stage we're not sure what effect this will have on the legal case," said a spokesperson from Futabasha in Tokyo, who noted that legal proceedings had begun last week.

South Korean sales company Cineclick Asia, which represented Show East's "Oldboy" in international territories, actually negotiated the remake deal with Universal.

Universal brought in Roy Lee's Vertigo Entertainment, which has made a specialty of Asian film remakes, to produce the picture, and then Mandate acquired the rights from Universal.

DreamWorks, in one of its first moves in the wake of its November separation from Paramount, secured remake rights from Mandate, which remains involved in the project.

DreamWorks had no comment on the dispute between Futubasha and Show East.

(Editing by Dean Goodman at Reuters)


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  • 4 months later...

Exclusive: Will Smith & Steven Spielberg’s Old Boy DEAD!

Late Breaking News…

This just in…

You know that OLDBOY remake…well it wasn’t really a remake, anyway (which is a terrible idea by the way) Steven Spielberg and Will Smith were suppose to do a film that was based on the Japanese manga by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya and NOT FROM THE ORIGINAL FILM.

At the time DreamWorks was in the process of securing the rights along with MANDATE, until NOW.

According to a trusted source…

…It’s DEAD!

Mandate and DreamWorks didn’t see eye to eye therefore DreamWorks has apparently walked away.

No Spielberg.

No Will Smith.


Hence no stateside Oldboy remake…or whatever you want to call it.

Stay tuned as more develops.

You guys should be hearing something in the trades soon.



Aww hell naww! :boxedin:

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Makes me happy. Did not like this project, not at all. Its not like everything Spielberg touches becomes gold and this idea, well, it wasnt a good one. If they would make a remake of something, I think they should choose some old classic instead of something from 2003. Maybe Will as.. the Godfather?

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