I missed this story when it premiered on Suicide Girls this past Friday, but better late than never when it comes to getting pissed off about a remake of a very modern, very great film. Good old Daniel Robert Epstein (who I am sure uses his middle name just so he can have DRE in all his interviews, that gangsta) talked to Justin Lin about his fairly terrible new film Annapolis, and the subject of the Oldboy remake – which Lin is currently attached to direct – came up. Dan asked about a rumor I had written off as a joke:
DRE: I’ve heard a couple of rumors about the Oldboy remake. That the main character will eat tacos instead of squid. Is that correct?
Justin: [laughs] We’re just playing around. We went from tacos to burritos but right now we’re so far away from it being a reality. I love that film and the only reason I wanted to explore that avenue is because it really spoke to me. I didn’t sign on to make a Xerox copy of the original because it’s a masterpiece. I wanted to explore other themes within it. If I was going to come close to making a Xerox I hope I have enough sense to stop that process. Oldboy is one of those projects where structurally it’s so solid and it brings up so many great themes that you could give it to ten different filmmakers and it would be interesting to see what comes out of each of them.
So far Universal has been very open to anything. I told them that I’m not signing on unless we’re not going to water down the ending. It has always been important to make sure that it’s understood up front what we’re trying to accomplish.
DRE: Is Nicolas Cage still attached?
Justin: We don’t have formal attachments. It’s a great movie and any actor in their right mind would want to be a part of it. I know he said publicly he’d be interested in it. I just don’t think we’re at that stage yet so hopefully after I wrap this movie I’ll have a little bit more time to play around and see what comes up.
OK. Let’s start with the positive. I think that Nic Cage would actually be an excellent Oh Daesu American Style, so that’s fine. But tacos? A burrito? How does either of those things have the impact of a live octopus? And that’s not even taking into account that Nic Cage, if he does star, once ate a live roach for a very shitty vampire film. Surely Lin could come up with something more shocking and thematically appropriate for Cage to eat than a Cheesy Bean Burrito?
Actually, if they used that scene as a way to have a tie-in Taco Bell campaign, the whole thing would have reached such a level of absurdity that I would probably declare Lin a genius.