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Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Remake Casts Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson Joins Oldboy Remake
Michael Buckner, Getty Images

As much as the thought of an American remake of Chan-wook Park’s ‘Oldboy‘ makes our skin crawl, we can’t help but remain interested in this project. Sure, the very concept sounds like a train wreck on paper, but when you put a virtuoso like Spike Lee in the director’s seat and actors like Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley and Elizabeth Olsen in front of the camera, you’ve gone and got our attention. The lastest news has only further piqued our interest: Samuel L. Jackson has joined the cast.

It’s a small role, but if it’s anything like the original, it’ll sure be memorable. Jackson will play the role of a man brutally tortured by Josh Brolin as part of his vengeance-fueled investigation to discover who held him captive for fifteen years. In South Korean version, our antihero extracts this information through impromptu dental surgery with the claw end of a hammer (the same hammer that will be used in one of the greatest fight scenes of all time), but the LA Times has learned that Jackson’s character will suffer in a different but equally horrible manner. Considering how Jackson is generally cast as tough badasses, it’ll be just plain bizarre to see him in a position of such extreme weakness.

The same LA Times article also breaks the news that singer/songwriter/pianist Bruce Hornsby will be scoring the film. This will be his third time working on a Spike Lee joint, having provided music for ‘Red Hook Summer’ and the basketball documentary ‘Kobe Doin’ Work.’ Although the film doesn’t have a start date yet (it’s at that precarious point where it can all fall apart), Hornsby says that he’s already had discussions about the score and has been told that a key world is “dark.”

And for a story as grim as ‘Oldboy,’ that’s a good start.

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