Have Spielberg And Smith Said Goodbye To Remaking Old Boy?

By  · Published on November 10th, 2009

Word on the web is that the answer to that question is a big old fat Hell Yeah!

Latino Review is reporting that the oft-discussed, continuously derided pairing of director Steven Spielberg and megastar Will Smith on a remake of Park Chan-wook’s film Old Boy is officially DOA. News of the planned remake was revealed almost a year ago and was met with immediate criticism. Everytime we covered it on FSR (here, here, and here) the comment sections were over-whelmingly anti-remake (and anti-Spielberg/Smith). Well now everyone can relax because Dreamworks will not be getting their hands on the film’s rights.

Per the LR post, Dreamworks was in negotiations with their Korean production counterpart, Mandate, but “didn’t see eye to eye therefore DreamWorks has apparently walked away.” Without Dreamworks there’s little to no chance of Spielberg’s involvement. And without Spielberg the assumption is that Smith will drop it as well. LR states “No Spielberg. No Will Smith. THEY’RE OUT! Hence no stateside Oldboy remake…” So cue the celebration right?

Except for one thing.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be a remake of Old Boy. It just (most likely) means that Spielberg and Smith won’t be attached. So I ask you… were these two guys the worst possible director and star you could have imagined on this project? I’ve said from the beginning that I thought Spielberg was good for this. The man can do dark… just watch Munich and try to find one shred of lasting joy or light in that film. You won’t find it. He wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I had no issue with him at the helm. I am happy to see Smith go though… I think he’s a fine actor, but I don’t believe he’d let his character go as low and as dark as the one in Old Boy needs to go.

So with them gone the door is wide open to a host of other names. Maybe Brett Ratner can step in as director? Maybe Sam Worthington can be cast in the lead role? Then you’d really have something to bitch about…

Are you happy about this news? Who would you like to see step in to Speilberg’s and Smith’s shoes?

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.