Posted on Monday, November 9th, 2009 by Devindra Hardawar
Could it be? Have our prayer’s been answered? Latino Review is reporting that Steven Spielberg’s Old Boy starring Will Smith is dead in the water. Apparently Dreamworks and original Korean production studio Mandate were working together to get the rights to the manga, but the two couldn’t reach an agreement, and Dreamworks simply walked away. Spielberg’s film was to be an adaptation of the original manga by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, and not a direct remake of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy.
I honestly loathed this project a lot less when we learned that they were looking at the manga more than the film, but at the same time it would have been impossible not to compare Spielberg’s vision to Park’s. Had Spielberg tapped a more compelling actor for the role, I probably would have even been excited for this project. It’d be like Scorsese remaking Infernal Affairs as The Departed—it’s sometimes fascinating to see how Hollywood masters tackle the same material as foreign directors.
Since Mandate couldn’t agree on terms with two huge Hollywood names behind the project, I’m not sure if we’ll see anyone else attempting to do another American Oldboy project anytime soon. Then again, if it was just about Dreamworks wanting more of the pie than Mandate could tolerate, perhaps a smaller studio with less clout would actually be more agreeable for Mandate.
With Old Boy out, I wonder what Spielberg will be spending his time on next. His next listed project on IMDB is Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, but that has a depressingly distant release date of December 23, 2011. Perhaps Christmas will come early and we’ll see it even sooner?
Discuss: Were you looking forward to Spielberg’s Old Boy, or are you glad that it’s dead?