Oldboy Remake Proceeding Despite Legal Confusion

Cover Art from Original Oldboy MangaIt’s been several months since any news has trickled out regarding the planned remake of Oldboy which is in the hands of director Steven Spielberg and actor Will Smith, and now we know why. It’s the subject of a complex, behind-the-scenes rights wrangle involving the Japanese publishers of the original manga and the Korean producers of Park Chan-Wook’s 2003 cult hit.

Nonetheless, Reuters is reporting that Spielberg and Smith are “moving forward” with the planned redux even though the rights issue remains fuzzy and unresolved (legal proceedings began last week).

Futabasha, publisher of the manga by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya, has filed a case against Show East in Seoul, alleging the Korean company never had the right to negotiate a remake. Show East has shut down and its CEO, Kim Dong-Ju, has disappeared. Big Egg, a co-producer of the ultra-violent revenge flick, has also closed up shop, and its former staffers are unreachable.

South Korean sales company Cineclick Asia, which represented the original film in international territories, actually negotiated the remake deal with Universal. Universal brought in Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment to produce the picture, and then Mandate acquired the rights from Universal. DreamWorks secured remake rights from Mandate, which remains involved in the project.

Whew! That’s a lot of moving parts! I’m sure plenty of people are hoping this never happens, but if anyone has the clout to get the parties together and pull it off, it’s Spielberg. Keep it here for updates as they come.

Debi Moore

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  • xy marla

    This is the most ridiculous bullshit premise. OLDBOY WITH STEVEN SPIELBERG AND WILL SMITH?! Are they seriously just fucking with us now, just releasing news to make people’s brains explode?

    check it! http://www.dannyisnthere.com

  • El Regio Dude

    Even in Mexico the main film producers are remaking good old movies… and believe me, they follow the same stupid formula: good looking kids, emo bands, and some new “creative” ideas to “improve” the older film…

    But “Oldboy”? Really?

    Son mamadas (That´s bullshit).

    “Santo llamando a Blue Demon…”

  • Chainsaw

    Look at it like this: there’s no way this movie is going to resemble Oldboy at all. The plot might, the name might be there, but the ending…never going to happen. Now with Spielberg and Will Smith involved. And now, with this lawsuit, it almost guarantees that this movie will be it’s own beast entirely. Probably not for the good, but I’d rather have it stand on it’s own legs.

  • justplaindoug

    I’m… I’m just done. I mean, honestly … I am not passionate about Miike or asian horror films to be honest. Sorry, it’s just not my cup of tea.

    But just the sheer volume of remakes. Nothing against DC- I love this site. However, if I could come to the site for just one day…just one, and not read anything about a re-make (reboot, reimagining, beating-of-a-dead-horse) I would be so happy I could crap nickles.

    There are so many talented writers out there, with original ideas and game changing concepts- if not for a couple of movies in the late nineties I don’t think we would be here now. Maybe that’s just me- I think I am going to write something on that tonight lol.

    • Vermithrax

      Don’t hold your breath. It ain’t ending anytime soon.

      These movies are made for those pop collar douchebags to take their girlfriends to in order to cop a feel and get laid with no real interest being in the movie at all. And since that is about 85% of our country’s theater goers they make a killing each time (example=Prom Night).

      I am sure the producers of this are going to do the same thing that was done with [rec], just make it and pretend like the original doesn’t exist. After all, who cares about those stupid foreign movies when we can see Will Smith call people ‘dickshit’ and slam them in the face with a hammer in good ol’ American English! RIGHT?!

      • DavidFullam

        Don’t forget, he also has to say “Aw Hell Naw” a half dozen times as well. God, I hate Will Smith.

    • Uncle Creepy

      We’re right there with ya, Doug. I promise.

      • justplaindoug

        I know you are- that’s why I come here 🙂