If there’s one thing I learned from The Great Space Coaster, it’s that no gnus is good gnus. And in the case the no news is that Universal’s proposed remake of the modern Korean classic Oldboy remains trapped in limbo.
By now I must assume that you know that Oldboy is the second film in Park Chanwook’s Vengeance trilogy (the final chapter, Lady Vengeance, is out in theaters in the luckiest towns right now), and quite possibly the most powerful. The movie is about a man who is suddenly kidnapped and held captive for fifteen years with no explanation (no, he wasn’t a dark skinned man taking a trans-Atlantic flight). Just as suddenly he is let free. Soon he begins to realize that the real question isn’t why he was held prisoner – but why he was let go. I should write the captions on the back of DVD cases.
Anyway, it’s a great film; dark, immaculately structured and completely sick, as well as being the beneficiary of Chanwook’s cinematic vision, one of the finest on the planet. So of course when it got out that Justin Lin, the newbie responsible for the OK film Better Luck Tomorrow and the terrible film Annapolis (as well as the coming soon, but fated to be awful, Fast and the Furious 3), people got upset. Don’t ever doubt that what you post on an internet message board is read by people in Hollywood. Verily – you may be actually hurting the feelings of actual directors. “There’s been lots of speculation out there, a lot of people trashing me,” Lin told Now Playing. More from the magazine:
“The studio has it,” Lin recently told Now Playing magazine. “I’m still trying to…” Here he pauses judiciously. “We’ll see. It would really have to be the right situation. I know the situation I would like it to be, and if it’s not that, then they should find a great filmmaker to make it. It was one of those movies that blew me away. I have very strong opinions on it, and I haven’t come close to developing those to the point [where I’d] actually want to remake it yet. I’m very protective of that film.”
In the end, he told Now Playing, the Oldboy remake is “safely tucked away.” Here’s one film that I think most of wouldn’t mind seeing damned to eternal development hell.