Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake now officially coming to America

Oldboy

When it was first announced that Spike Lee would be directing an English-language remake of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy, fans of the film were understandably worried. The original film was, quite simply, a masterpiece. It’s a tragedy that’s almost Shakespearian in quality, and every element of the film, from the actors to the set design to the special effects, is perfectly designed to tell this harrowing tale. Plus, it contains what may be the most viscerally impressive fight scene ever committed to film. In short, it’s a great movie that works brilliantly on a number of levels, and honestly, it seems unlikely that anyone, Spike Lee included, could do a better job with the story than Park Chan-wook.

Of course, the original Oldboy had one glaring flaw as far as Hollywood is concerned: subtitles. No matter how great a film is you just can’t expect American audiences to seek out a movie that forces them to read. The Constitution guarantees us all the right to be as illiterate and lazy as we’d like, and that goes along nicely with our collective desire to use our brain meat as little as possible. Yes, it’s a depressing point, but you can’t really deny its validity: How many foreign-language movies have been actual, legitimate hits here in America?

With the assumption that we’ve impressed upon you readers that this remake is potentially a very bad, depressing idea, on to today’s news. According to The Hollywood Reporter, FilmDistrict snapped up the US distribution rights for Lee’s version of Oldboy at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival. Given that FilmDistrict co-founder Peter Schlessel has an executive producer credit on the film, this agreement isn’t entirely surprising, but it is something of a final nail in the coffin of hope that somehow Lee’s Oldboy might not be made. This movie is happening people, and according to THR the production starts shooting a mere month from now.

So, now that pessimism is utterly fruitless, we may as well make the best of this imminent situation. As much as the remake itself seems like the very definition of a cynical, money-driven Hollywood decision, we do like some aspects of the idea. Specifically, that Josh Brolin has been cast to portray protagonist Oh Dae-Su (or whatever he’s called in the American version; probably Bill or Steve). While we’re unconvinced that Brolin can trump the performance given by Min-sik Choi in the complex lead role, we do enjoy everything we’ve seen him in, and are quite curious to see how he will interpret the character. Likewise, when we heard that Samuel L. Jackson would be joining the cast, our excitement for the film greatly increased. Not because we think Jackson’s presence somehow validates this remake’s existence, but simply because Mr. Jackson is entertaining in any movie. We could watch that guy read a phone book, as long as he occasionally drops a few angry F-bombs along the way.

While we continue to wait for the studios to offer up a release date for this project, we’d like to recommend that you all visit your favorite Netflix device and watch the original, 2003 version of Oldboy. It was recently added to the service’s instant streaming option, and it’s absolutely worth two hours of your Friday afternoon.

Computing

Apple discontinues AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule as it exits Wi-Fi router business

Apple is now officially no longer in the router business. The company had already stopped selling the AirPort Express, and now its retail stores and websites have stopped offering the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Music

Music to our ears: Spotify at long last arrives on the Apple Watch

Spotify subscribers are now able to jam out to their favorite tunes on their favorite workout accessory, as the Swedish streaming service has finally released its official Apple Watch app.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (December 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in November and December 2018, from new original series to classic films.
Podcasts

Remembering Stan Lee, Fantastic Beasts 2 review, Apple goes Hollywood

This week on Between the Streams, we'll discuss the passing of comics and entertainment legend Stan Lee, a spoiler-free review of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Apple's new partnership with indie movie studio A24, and more.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Deals

College sports are yours to watch live online with an ESPN+ free trial

It can be difficult to catch all the college games, especially for smaller conferences. Well, thanks to ESPN+ that’s no longer the case. Now, you won't need to miss any of your alma mater rival games.
Deals

You can now watch soccer games online with streaming service ESPN+

Launched back in April, ESPN+ is a direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service. For a mere $5 a month or $50 per year, you can have access to the best sports content available including multiple soccer leagues.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: The Coen brothers ride again and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Nnarcos: Mexico, and more.