James Ransone Replaces Nate Parker in Oldboy

To many, Oldboy is a cult classic. The 2003 South Korean film was directed by Park Chan-wook. It is loosely based upon the Japanese manga of the same name, written by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya and illustrated by Nobuaki Minegishi. The American re-make has just had a casting switch up.

James Ransone has signed the dotted line and will replace actor Nate Parker in the film Spike Lee will direct. There was some scheduling conflicts that are to blame for the swap. The re-make is scheduled for release in 2013 and has a script from Mark Protosevich.

I’ve got to say, I do like the way the cast is shaping up. Josh Brolin will star as the lead character, Joe. This character’s name is Dae-su Oh in the original korean film. Joe is captured and imprisoned in a hotel room for over two decades without a clue as to why. the day he is suddenly released, he is told he’s got four days to figure out why it all went down.

To say he’s trapped in a hotel room is a little too nice to describe his incarceration. In the original film, there’s a TV set in his room, but no window. He’s fed, but also frequently gassed by his mysterious captors who will cut his hair but won’t wash any blood stains out of his room. The TV shows him that his wife was murdered shortly after his own kidnapping and the police suspect him. When he is mysteriously freed, he can’t very well go to the police.

Ransone will play a doctor who works with the lead female, who is acted by Elizabeth Olsen. Yes, that’s younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Ransone, largely a TV series actor, worked with Spike Lee on Inside Man. He also acts in the horror flick out now, titled Sinister, and starring Ethan Hawke.

Sharlto Copley from District 9 and The A-Team will co-star as the antagonist. I’m a big fan of his work. Samuel L. Jackson is expected to do a cameo.

Film critic Roger Ebert said the original Oldboy was a “powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare”. That’s an incredible review! Also, in 2008, a CNN poll found that Oldboy was considered one of the ten best Asian films ever made. In fact, I just saw Oldboy on a list of the best Asian films of all time, standing tall amongst titles like The Man from Nowhere and Seven Samurai. It is very much time to bring an American version to those unfamiliar with the original. I do recommend watching the original before the re-make comes out. It has a style all its own.

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