Promotion for Spike Lee’s remake of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 thriller, Oldboy, has been kept captive for the most part, with only a simple teaser poster making a hushed escape to reassure fans that the film will soon be set free.
However, with October’s US release drawing closer, FilmDistrict deem the time apt to crank the marketing up a notch by unveiling a new poster, designed by Neil Kellerhouse, which follows the text.
Written in a script which is evocative of Chan-wook’s English-language debut, Stoker (2013), the ‘Oldboy’ title casts smatterings of black ink amongst the clouds, which, when combined with Josh Brolin’s suit and shades, suggests that protagonist Joe Doucett will share Oh Dae-su’s colour of choice. The back of a contrastingly vibrant female can be seen in the distance, with her yellow umbrella boasting the blood-red tallies which refer to the years of Doucett’s imprisonment. Suffice to say, you are unlikely to find that design on the High Street. Brolin, meanwhile, is oblivious to the female’s faceless presence, and is more intent on emerging from the chest he finds himself in, located in the middle of a field. A Glastonbury prank gone awry, or is something more sinister at hand?
The tagline reads: ‘Ask not why you were imprisoned. Ask why you were set free.‘ Whilst this retains the mystery of Chan-wook’s film, the poster’s colour pallet differs vastly from the all-black offering from the Korean original, suggesting that whilst Lee may stick closely to the source material in terms of substance, the auteur is likely to tailor the film to his own recognisable style.
The plot sees an advertising executive released from a twenty-year spell of solitary confinement, without explanation, forcing him to undertake the personal mission of discovering the face, and motivation, behind his imprisonment.
Interestingly, the film is billed as a ‘Spike Lee Film’, dropping the famous ‘Joint’ from his credit. Though this could simply be a result of the film being a remake, it could also suggest the dawning of a new era of filmmaking for the director who shunned convention with his exploration of race relations and social consciousness, in acclaimed films such as Do the Right Thing (1989), Jungle Fever (1991), and Clockers (1995).
Set for a UK release on the 6th December, 2013, the film also stars Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley, and was scripted by Mark Protosevich. Wednesday will see the release of a Red Band trailer for the film, so stay tuned for a glimpse at the first footage from Spike Lee’s take on conspiracy and vengeance.
What are your thoughts on the theatrical poster for Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy? Will the film be able to hold its own against comparisons to Park Chan-wook’s adaptation of the Japanese manga? Leave your comments below.