Mandate Wants Josh Brolin For Spike Lee's OLDBOY. Can He Fill Choi Min-Sik's Shoes?

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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Mandate Wants Josh Brolin For Spike Lee's OLDBOY. Can He Fill Choi Min-Sik's Shoes?
Though it's speculative at this point in that no formal offer has yet been made, ScreenAnarchy has learned that Josh Brolin tops Mandate's casting wishlist for the Spike Lee directed Oldboy remake. Whoever takes the part has got enormous shoes to fill as Choi Min-Sik was absolutely iconic in the Korean version of the film but Brolin seems like a very solid choice. He's one hell of an actor, for one thing, with a very strong physical presence, both of which will be absolutely essential for whoever eventually takes the part.

But since the offer's not out yet and nobody has signed, now is the time to wonder out loud a bit. Who else could fill the role and fill it well? The anti-remake folk will, no doubt, take this as their cue to shout "Nobody!" as loud as they can but here in the real world where somebody is going to take the part no matter what they think I'd rather they choose someone who suits it as well as possible.

Brolin, I think may top my personal list as well, with Idris Elba running pretty much neck and neck. Thomas Jane could do it, but I doubt he has the marketability that the studios will want. Aaron Eckhart I think would also be a strong choice. But beyond that it gets difficult. So what do you think? Do you agree with Mandate that Brolin is a good choice? Or is there someone else out there who could fill Choi Min-Sik's shoes a little better?
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Spike LeeGaron TsuchiyaNobuaki MinegishiMark ProtosevichJosh BrolinElizabeth OlsenSharlto CopleySamuel L. JacksonActionDramaMystery

More about Oldboy (2013)

skinnyboy23July 12, 2011 4:25 PM

no way, my money would be on either Will Smith or Denzel Washington. I personally would LOVE to see Will Smith in this just to see him take on something that is dark and not comedic.

ToryJuly 12, 2011 6:03 PM

I think Brolin's an excellent choice and I'm with you on Jane. In a perfect world, I'd use a time machine to snatch up a younger Gary Oldman or De Niro and throw one of them in there. Viggo Mortensen's another guy I'd love to see play the part. Can Mads Mikkelsen pull of a convincing American accent, because I have a feeling he'd ace it.

MartenJuly 12, 2011 6:13 PM

I don't understand why everybody feels that Will Smith or Denzel are the default choices for Oldboy. Both have been giving predictable performances for the past decade and haven't taken a challenging role showing emotional breadth in quite a while. We need someone who can convincingly transform from a soft & schleppy younger middle-aged man to a hardened vengeful older middle-aged man. Will Smith might be able to do the latter but I can't see him as the former. Josh Brolin as a bit too suave for this role.

ToryJuly 12, 2011 6:27 PM

I think a lot of people subscribe to the idea that Spike Lee only casts black actors in his films, so they automatically choose one of the two they can think of off the top of their heads. (I'm not pointing any fingers at skinnyboy, AT ALL, but I do think you're going to hear a lot more Will and Denzel suggestions over the next few weeks.)

Kurt HalfyardJuly 12, 2011 6:51 PM

Why Will Smith will not do a Spike Lee directed Oldboy:

read the full article

PandatankJuly 12, 2011 10:38 PM

Brolin would be ok.........personally I'd like to see someone like Benicio Del Toro have a crack at Oh Dae Su......That would be more in keeping with the original movie AND the comic book.

Todd BrownJuly 12, 2011 11:12 PM

Oh, Benicio is an interesting call. I like that.

ToryJuly 12, 2011 11:23 PM

Hell yeah. That's a great choice.

C0rneliusJuly 13, 2011 12:00 AM

I'm one of those people in the please-don't-remake-this camp, as Oldboy is my absolute favorite movie. It's my go-to film when someone challenges me on F'd up movies (and not some Miike pointless drivel. Bring on the flames!), or when someone claims that Se7en is the most sinister movie they've seen (Seven is another favorite...dont get me wrong).

...That being said...

If they keep adding inspired talent such as Spike Lee (I'm not a huge fan of his earlier work, besides Do the Right Thing) and Josh Brolin to the mix...I may just give this one a shot. MUCH better than the Big Willie Style Spielberg version that we were going to get. Brolin is a great actor, and Spike is a far more interesting choice than Justin Lin. I wanted Gary Oldman when the remake rumblings first started (and Nic Cage seemed to be in the running), but this I like. 13, 2011 1:26 AM


What you fail to understand is that the greatness of a remake/adaptation greatly depends on the writer of that said project. The writer of this film is the guy who adapted Posieden, and I am Legend. Two of the worst adaptations that I've ever seen. Regardless if you liked the two films or not, they are terrible when compared to the source material. I don't expect this to be any different.

The idea of re creating something that has already been created so perfectly not even a decade ago is frustrating as hell, and should already tell you that the people involved are just doing it for the money. Plain and simple.

DominiqueJuly 13, 2011 2:23 AM

benicio for me tops the list. i think it suits him more!

EricJuly 13, 2011 2:52 AM

Only one man can remake this movie. Because only Park can pull a Fincher, only Fincher could pull a Park-level film so. . . this movie is done before it gets rolling.

But Josh Brolin. . . I'm stumped to think of someone else with the right feel and skill of the same age. Better people are starting to be attached to this movie now. I'm actually going to not be angry about it anymore!

baiddeviantJuly 13, 2011 6:51 AM

Fight Club and OldBoy have been two of the best movies I have watched in my life time(25 years). I am completely against this remake. However going forward with this discussion, I completely agree with Eric's director choice. Wish Fincher had taken this project instead of the girl with dragon tattoo. As far as choice of actor goes, how about Javier Bardem(anyone saw him in No Country For Old Men?).

DeeJuly 13, 2011 9:29 AM

Sean Penn (preferred) Javier Bardem, or Clive Owen. Sam Worthington's got the craziness to pull it off, but he's a bit young. Javier Bardem could light up the screen with crazy and just about amount to Choi's talent.

CHUDJuly 13, 2011 10:25 AM

that would make me so conflicted because i love benicio and he'd be great for the role, and it'd make me actually kind of want to see the remake.

CHUDJuly 13, 2011 10:38 AM

i like these. you should be a casting director. i also wouldn't mind seeing Sam Rockwell give something like this a shot, though he's smaller. then again, i could watch Rockwell in anything.

AnsonJuly 13, 2011 12:10 PM

I think it will be really hard for the remake as Old Boy is the most powerful film that I ever watched! The last scene still stays with me after all these years.

However, lets think outside of the box, I think Michael C. Hall(Dexter0 will make a great chose. What do you think? 13, 2011 1:44 PM

Dominic West?

MichelleJuly 13, 2011 1:59 PM

First of all Oldboy is a twisted story, I tried to get my friends to watch it, and they never let me recommend another movie to them after seeing this movie. Second the main character has to be able to pull off a beleivable character and I just dont think James Brolin or Idris Elba can do it.. Right now my money is on Thomas Jane, I think he has the ability to do this, especially after seeing him in his HBO series Hung and a few of his darker movies, I think he has the ability to do it.

MichelleJuly 13, 2011 2:05 PM

I totally forgot about Sam Rockwell!!! He would absolutely be perfect for this role!! Great suggestion! I'm going for Thomas Jane, but if they could get Sam Rockwell, there is no way they could fail in the remake!!

Colonel PanicJuly 13, 2011 2:24 PM

Call me crazy, but I like Don Cheadle for this role.

AirchinapilotJuly 14, 2011 10:16 PM

Upgrade your friends, Michelle :P

JonJuly 15, 2011 10:09 PM

Can anyone smell a Michael Keaton comeback?

PriscillaApril 13, 2012 11:27 AM

i like the benicio del toro idea. I'm really scared that spike is gonna tone it down to make it more digestible for an american audience. but i think that if he takes out the taboo aspects of it, it will totally ruin it. for example, if he takes out the ending, it would fail to show how entirely selfish he was.

whoever gets the part has to be both dispicable, yet charismatic at the same time. we have to be drawn to watching him, feel for his suffering, get emotionally invested, and then BAM! know what i mean?

Todd BrownApril 13, 2012 11:33 AM

Word came out yesterday that they've offered the villain part to Sharlto Copley, actually. It's a good choice, I think.