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The idea of an Oldboy green-band trailer is counterproductive. There should be very little from a proper telling of Oldboy that could fit in a green-band trailer (beyond the days in captivity by the lead character). And it won’t be those elements that tease an Oldboy audience into seeing Spike Lee’s version of the classic manga comic.
And yet, FilmDistrict and Universal are going to have to convince crowds to come check out the feel-bad movie of the upcoming holiday season, and so the above trailer has been posted to YouTube. It focuses on what you might expect: Josh Brolin’s unusual predicament. As is the case in the original source material (as well as in Park Chan-wook’s beloved cult version of Oldboy), a seemingly innocent man is kidnapped and detained for 20 years. While imprisoned, he learns that his wife has been killed, and he remains the prime suspect. One day, the man is release without explanation … and he begins a quest to find out who locked him away, and why.
The movie upped the stakes with a red-band trailer a few weeks back. Watch it and spot the differences:
Strangely similar, with rougher language in tiny spots and, eventually, more violence. Then, there’s always the superior Park take:
I’m no Oldboy purist. And if a studio wanted to bankroll an Oldboy remake, I can absolutely see handing it to Spike Lee, who has dabbled in dark, violent genre films from time to time. Brolin’s the right selection to play the imprisoned advertising executive who’s mind and body are seriously screwed around with by some mysterious forces. The movie is receiving an offbeat release date. November 27 traditionally puts it right in the Thanksgiving wheelhouse, and it’s going to have to compete with the likes of and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Perhaps Universal views it as counterprogramming … an adult option for those who’d rather see a totally different type of hammer fight? In the meantime, enjoy this poster, which is a beautiful depiction of the Oldboy mythology. Will you see Lee’s take on the material when it opens later this month?