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Elizabeth Olsen Oldboy Remake Lead?
There was a collective disappointed sigh heard all over the world when Hollywood announced they would be developing an American version of Oldboy. Originally a manga series written by Garon Tsuchiya and illustrated by Nobuaki Minegishi, Oldboy is the story of a man who is imprisoned for ten years then released for no apparent reason. He sets out to find the reason for his imprisonment and who put him there. Fans are hoping this won’t end up as a horrible adaptation as some other mangas already have.
In 2003, the manga inspired a Korean film adaptation with the same name which rocked audiences everywhere. Oldboy or Oldeuboi is a concoction of sexuality, violence, and cinematic ingenuity that continues to surprise, shock and keep you hanging on until the bitter end. It is this version that sticks out in my mind when someone mentions Oldboy. It was not something I envisioned American audience liking very much. Oldboy is harsh and angry and only avoids bitterness by balancing its hopes on the thinnest of imaginable remedies. The Korean film is not for the weak of heart.
Hollywood’s plans to remake Oldboy makes me wonder where they will draw their influence, directly from the manga? Or from the bold film adaptation. There are differences. From it’s inception, the film has been slow to develop. Spike Lee is set to direct the reboot but casting has been difficult. Several offers had been made and declined by high profile actors and actresses. Clive Owen, Colin Firth and Christian Bale are among the leading men who have turned down a role in this feature-film. Josh Brolin has been cast in the male lead, and he has been on board from the very start. He seems like the only actor to be excited and want to participate in the project.
For the female lead Rooney Mara and Mia Wasikowska were offered the role but have since turned it down. According to CriminalComplex the latest to be offered the lead female is the “other” Olsen, Elizabeth Olsen. She has been offered the part of Marie, which can only be interpreted as the male lead’s companion through the movie. Its hard to venture a guess as to what exactly her role will be like in the upcoming remake given Hollywood’s penchant for twisting plots and characters, but I have no doubt that Olsen can pull off this role should she choose to accept it.
Olsen has been a breakthrough actress, coming out of nowhere at The Sundance Film Festival in 2011, making her one of the most sought after young actresses thanks to her outstanding roles in The Silent House and Martha Marcy May Marlene. Olsen also starred in Peace, Love & Misunderstanding which premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and landed a major role in the 2012 Sundance pick Red Lights. While Olsen has three other projects lined up for 2013, she has a pretty sizable gap between them which makes Oldboy a feasible project to take on.
Oldboy fans out there, what do you think of Hollywood doing a remake? Do you think it will turn out? Or will it be another flop?