I recently visited the set of CBS Films' upcoming thriller 7500, which is working towards an August 28, 2012 release date. While on the set in Los Angeles, we were able to speak with producer Roy Lee, who gave us updates on a slew of his upcoming productions, including the Oldboy remake. Here's what he had to say about Oldboy, which is gearing up to start shooting in March.
"We are planning to shoot Oldboy in March and that should start preproduction in late January. This is a completely new version written by Mark Protosevich."
Chan-wook Park's original Oldboy is based on the manga by Nobuaki Minegishi. Roy Lee said that screenwriter Mark Protosevich has come up with new elements that don't stem from the original movie or manga. He also revealed the ending will be much different, and there is a new take on the famous hallway scene from the original.
"It's very similar, but we've added new elements. Mark Protosevich has come up with new elements to it that will throw off the audience who have seen the original movie because there are new characters and new situations that present themselves in a way that changes the story but eventually go in the same direction. The ending will be something that the audiences, especially the fans of the original, will be very happy with. In fact, some may consider it to be a bit darker. There's a sort of different interpretation of that hallway scene that is going to hopefully be (director) Spike (Lee)'s signature moment in the movie that we want to show in a way that we've never seen done in an action movie."
Roy Lee has also been attached to produce a remake of Battle Royale for some time now, although it seems that project isn't moving forward, mainly due to a highly-anticipated upcoming movie.
"The Hunger Games definitely took a lot of wind out of the sails because it definitely has a very similar storyline and so I'm not even sure if before The Hunger Games, any studio would have been able to take the creative risks you need to make the movie right."
The producer is also trying to launch new versions of The Grudge and The Ring horror franchises, but both projects are still in very early stages of development.
"We are looking to do a new version of The Grudge but we haven't decided on exactly what it will be. We've just put it out to the film community that we are hearing takes from writers on what they could bring to the table on what their thoughts are on a new version of The Grudge. (For The Ring), it's the same thing with The Grudge where we're hearing takes and actually having a script written just to see if it works in terms of trying to restart a Ring franchise."
Roy Lee also revealed he is in talks to produce the Poltergeist remake, which is one of several projects MGM is looking to reboot.
"I'd say the one I'm most excited about updating is the Poltergeist reboot. That is probably something hopefully next year that somebody will be able to accomplish."