Two weeks ago it was reported that Steven Spielberg was developing a remake of Chan-wook Park‘s Oldboy, with Will Smith attached to star. Apparently that isn’t exactly 100% true. Our friends at Film School Rejects got a chance to speak with Smith, who clarified that the movie would not be a remake of Park’s 2003 film.
“We’re looking at that right now. Not the film though, it’s the original source material,” Smith told FSR. “There’s the original comics of ‘Oldboy’ that they made the first film from. And that’s what we’re working from, not an adaptation of the film…”
That’s right, Spielberg’s film will be based on the Japanese manga by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya. Read the official book synopsis below:
“Ten years ago, they took him. He doesn’t know who. For ten years he has been confined in a private prison. He doesn’t know why. For ten years his only contact with the outside world has been a television set and the voices of his jailers. In time, he lost himself. He changed . . . transformed himself into something else . . . something hard . . . something lethal. Suddenly one day, his incarceration ends, again without explanation. He is sedated, stuffed inside a trunk, and dumped in a park. When he awakes, he is free to reclaim what’s left of his life . . . and what’s left is revenge.”
The Onion AV Club says that “the manga’s story isn’t nearly as propulsive and grim as the film version, but as soon as their plotlines begin to deviate, the manga becomes just as compelling.” So while the short plot synopsis sounds similar, it appears that the film adaptation did deviate from Minegishi and Tsuchiya’s original manga. But does that make this “adaptation” any more tolerable to fans of the 2003 South Korean film?
For those that might be interested, Amazon has each of the three volumes available for around 10 or 11 bucks each.