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Ah, the Oldboy remake. It's a project that's been the subject of speculation for years, having swapped out rumored creative teams and potential leads like bored junior high students swap Magic: The Gathering Cards. Bored junior high students totally still swap Magic: The Gathering cards, right? That's a thing that still happens? Whatever, you're probably just not cool enough to know about it.
My anachronistic similes aside, the Oldboy remake has often seemed like one of those things that will never actually happen, despite attracting plenty of top talent. At one point Will Smith and Steven Spielberg were going to make it (despite that sounding like a horrible idea even to me, somebody who doesn't really care about Oldboy either way). Then they weren't. Then maybe Danny Boyle was going to make it. Finally, this past summer, things started falling into place. Spike Lee signed on to direct, and Josh Brolin was attached to star.
With other names like Christian Bale and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara also rumored for the cast, Oldboy looked like it might just make it to screen after all. Now, however, the remake has hit a small speed bump: Variety's Justin Kroll let slip via Twitter this afternoon that Rooney Mara has passed on the role of Oldboy's female lead. Hardly a killing blow, but just another hurdle between the film and a release date.
The Korean revenge flick by Park Chan-wook has become a cult classic over the years, so it's no surprise that Hollywood wants to wring the life out of it as a remake. If it has to be remade, Lee is almost certainly a better fit than Spielberg and, God help us, Will Smith. The casting has also been pretty solid so far, suggesting that if the remake fails or flounders, it won't be for lack of talent on hand. It won't, however, be in the company of Rooney Mara.