Toronto Deals: FilmDistrict Acquires Spike Lee Thriller ‘Oldboy’

Sharlto-Copley-may-join-spike-lees-oldboy-as-villain.jpg

FilmDistrict has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Spike Lee’s action thriller starring Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen, a remake of a South Korean drama

FilmDistrict has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Spike Lee’s action thriller starring Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen, a remake of a South Korean drama.

The film follows the story of an advertising executive (Josh Brolin) who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement without any indication of his captor’s motive.  When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.

Olsen plays a social worker who he meets on the journey, while Sharlto Copley plays an elusive figure who holds the key to Brolin's fate. 

The original South Korean film, directed by Chan-wook Park, was released in 2003 and won the Grand Prize Jury Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel said in a prepared statement, “Spike Lee is the right filmmaker to reimagine and put his touch onto arguably one of the most talked about thrillers in recent memory.  The cast that he and producers Nathan, Joe, Roy and Doug have put together is sure to elevate the material and engage audiences.  FilmDistrict is proud to be releasing one of the first films from Good Universe here in the U.S.”

The film is not in the festival line-up but U.S. rights were on sale.

The film was produced by Roy Lee and Doug Davison via Vertigo Entertainment and Nathan Kahane on behalf of Good Universe. Peter Schlessel, FilmDistrict’s CEO, Joe Drake of Good Universe, and John Middleton will executive produce.  Mark Protosevich wrote the adapted screenplay and is co-producing.

Good Universe’s Joe Drake and Kahane said, “Nothing thrills us more than to partner with our longtime friend Peter and the exceptional team at FilmDistrict.”