Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Olsen and others revealed what it was like to work with director Spike Lee in the upcoming feature film, Oldboy.Spike Lee recently released his interpretation of the Korean feature film, Oldboy on Monday night in New York City.
Although Schlessel refused to talk business at the Film District- and Cinema Society-hosted screening at the AMC Lincoln Square in Manhattan, he was excited to talk about the film. Although Spike Lee's film, Oldboy is based on the 2003 Korean movie of the same name and the Japanese manga series that inspired that film, writer Mark Protosevich explained that they made changes to make the film more realistic and have it appeal to Western audiences.
"The core story is the same, but there are some cultural aspects of the original that I feel are very much of its culture, and I was very conscious of trying to make our film resonate more from a Western perspective," he said. "There were certain elements that were very stylized in the original, and I think we wanted to ground it more in reality, or at least that was my intention to make it play in a more straightforward sense. So, it was trying to capture the spirit and story of the original but trying to make it very much ours."Samuel L. Jackson explained, "There are so many things that are different and so many things that are similar, in theme, yes, in execution, not so much. "My particular character I just wanted to be interesting and sort of off-key in a physical and sort of temperamental sort of way, and Spike allowed me to bring a lot of stuff with me and use a majority of it, so I'm very pleased," he added. Interesting to note, Spike Lee let others help craft their roles, including Elizabeth Olsen. "He collaborates from day one of you being involved," she said of Lee's directing style. "It's amazing to work with him." Elizabeth Olsen became a household name after her critically-acclaimed role in Martha Marcy May Marlene, which made her an awards contender in 2011. Olsen's co-star Max Casella also revealed that Lee was tough but welcoming.
"Spike is the kind of guy he makes you feel like a member of the family from the first minute he meets you, even in an audition situation, he makes you feel like you're welcome and you're part of the family, "When we worked together, he had a very direct, strong, demanding kind of way of knowing exactly what he wanted and I loved that about him that he was very, very specific and strong about what he wanted."But it was revealed how Will Smith, who was originally attached to the project, was responsible for his involvement.
"I originally became involved with this project because initially, Will Smith was going to do it, and we had worked together on I Am Legend," Protosevich said. "He called me and said, 'I want you to write Oldboy for me,' so he's really the reason I'm here."Still, the writer argued that there are similarities between the two films about isolated characters:
"I think there are similar ideas being investigated because it's about a character going through a very traumatic, unusual experience. It transforms him. It's also about being isolated, being alone and what that does to your psyche. Do you give up or do you try to survive? The whole horrific experience in some ways makes him a better person."