Will Smith was initially up for the remake of Oldboy, which made a lot of fans balk. The original’s a pretty dark and disturbing story, which didn’t fit in with Will Smith’s wholesome image. (Neither did Django Unchained either, another role Smith was up for, but ultimately passed on.)
So the remake of Oldboy, now with Josh Brolin starring, has been completed and it was just screened in New York. Variety tells us that the audience who sat through the film, directed by Spike Lee, “squirmed” at the movie’s violence and surprise ending, which “moved many to audible discomfort.”
Elizabeth Olsen, who is in the film and who will also play Scarlett Witch in Avengers 2, told Variety, “I’ve never been more shocked and surprised by an ending since maybe The Sixth Sense.” Co-star Samuel L. Jackson confessed his inner geek to Variety, telling the industry trade he’s a big comic book nut.
“I read graphic novels,” Jackson said. “Always have, way back when they started doing things like The Crow. I always knew that would be a great movie.”
If a movie has to be remade, we’re glad that it can be disturbing to an audience. The original Oldboy was tough stuff, and we’re glad nobody’s wimping out or trying to make this story more digestible for American audiences. Look for Oldboy in theaters on November 27, 2013, and it should provide a much darker alternative to the Hunger Games by far.