I thought I might have been dreaming when I 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 I was 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.

Advertisements