Sharlto Copley Could Be the Villain in Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’

By  · Published on April 12th, 2012

Please let this one work out. Variety reports that Sharlto Copley has been offered the villain role in Spike Lee’s take on Oldboy, a piece of casting so inventive and unexpected that I’ve gone a bit cross-eyed over it. Lee’s remake/reimagining of Chan-wook Park’s film (itself based on the manga by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya) has been plagued by great pieces of possible casting that have not panned out ‐ from Colin Firth not taking on the baddie role to Rooney Mara sliding out on the female lead ‐ so it’s high time someone outstanding signs on and gets this thing moving.

Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen are already on board for the film, with Brolin taking on the role that Choi Min-sik played in the South Korean version ‐ a seemingly regular man who is kidnapped and kept in a single room for fifteen years. Eventually freed, he then embarks on a quest to find out who is responsible and why they did it ‐ which, of course, plays right into the mastermind’s plan. Olsen’s role is that of a caseworker who works with Brolin to uncover the past, a twist on Kang Hye-jeong’s role as Mi-Do in the original film, who is a young sushi chef (who still helps out with that nasty past-uncovering).

Copley would play the “mysterious billionaire out to destroy [Brolin’s] life.” For fans of the manga and the film, you know just how nefarious and sick this character can be, so I won’t expound on that any further, but Copley certainly knows how to play a desperate man with a dark secret. Copley is best known for his breakout role in District 9, a dramatic project he followed up with the frisky and silly The A-Team adaptation (where he played the gonzo H.M. Murdock). He’ll next be seen in Elysium and Europa.

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