Though the nature of the disagreement between Mandate and Dreamworks is unknown, the project was controversial from the start. Championed by admirers including director Quentin Tarantino, Chan-Wook's 'Oldboy' is a sinister tale of torture and revenge that won a devoted fan following as well as the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
Many fans feared that Smith and Spielberg's approach to the material would sanitize the intrinsically dark and vengeful story in order to woo mainstream American audiences. Though the Smith/Spielberg film was reportedly to be based on its original source material -- the Japanese manga by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya -- and not on the 'Oldboy' film itself, this news did little to placate concerned fans.
Complicating matters even more were outstanding disagreements about rights issues. According to a report from the Anime News Network earlier this year, the manga's Japanese publisher was suing 'Oldboy''s Korean film production company Show East over an alleged breach of contract. With the unresolved rights issues in play, and a hostile reception in store from the 'Oldboy' fanbase, it is perhaps unsurprising that Smith and Spielberg shelved the project.
|Yeah, it would have been cool.||23 (33.3%)|
|Nope, it was never a good idea.||46 (66.7%)|