Spike Lee Responds To ‘Oldboy’ Casting Call Controversy

The more we hear about Spike Lee’s upcoming remake of “Oldboy,” the more excited we are for it. But ever since a casting call for the flick made its way online, fans has been less than happy about the Americanized remake of the film.

There have been some concerns about a potential white-washing of the cast in Lee’s version, and blogger AngryAsianMan got a bit peeved when the “Oldboy” casting call he received was looking for a character called “asian woman” who must be a “mysterious exotic beauty” with martial arts experience. Others like Twitter user SpikeGhost expressed concerns about the casting call looking for four Caucasian leads, while Racebending.com had a problem with the fact that the two women of color in the script were either drug dealers or said “beauty.” The director was quick to shoot down their complaints by saying that he’s not a man they should be worried about these kinds of things with.

“People You Need To Relax.The Cast Of OLD BOY Will Be Diverse.If You Think Otherwise You Do Not Know My Work.Bother Other Directors ’Bout Dat,” Lee tweeted. “The Cast Will Be Diverse.Don’t Worry.”

In regards to the characters of a “drug addicted nutcase” who is African American and “asian woman,” Lee said, “All That Stuff Has Been Changed.”

This is a valid concern, as more than one popular Asian property has been remade in the past five years with little or no concern for its origin (here’s looking at you, “The Last Airbender”). But we agree that Lee is a director who is very aware of race and gender issues in Hollywood and would treat this situation delicately. To be honest, that’s why we’re so excited for him to make this movie.

Here’s the posted casting call in its entirety:

[WALLACE SHARKEY] Male, 60ish, Caucasian. Joe’s well-tailored, slickster boss.

[DONNA HAWTHORNE] Female, Mid 20s, Caucasian. Joe’s ex-wife and mother of Mia. Once a homecoming queen, now a stripped down hardworking single mom.

[DAVE BERMAN] Mid 40s to 50s. African-American. Shlubby, but very welthy businessman. Joe hits on his much younger girlfriend.

[ASIAN WOMAN] Female, Early to mid 20s, Asian. A mysterious exotic beauty sitting at the bar observing Joe. MARTIAL ARTS EXPERIENCE A PLUS

[CHUCKY] Male, Mid 40s, Caucasian. A free spirited likeable human teddy bear who sports loud vintage Hawaiian shirts. Joe’s best friend.

[BROWNING] Male. Caucasian. Small in stature. A career criminal with pockmarked skin.

[CORTEZ] Latin male. 50s. A bullishly strong street thug/criminal.

[JAKE PRESTON] Male, Mid 30s to mid 40s, Caucasian. A clean cut tough looking former cop; the no-nonsense host of the TV show “Unsolved Crimes.”

[ADULT MIA] Female, Early 20s, Caucasian. A musical prodigy on cello. Sensitive, intelligent, beautiful but humble. CELLO EXPERIENCE A PLUS.

[GRACE] Female, 50s, African American. A drug addicted nutcase in the Mobile Hospital.

[JOHNNY] Male, Mid 40s to 50s, Caucasian. A disheveled, schizophrenic man who is on the street near the Mobile Hospital unit.

[A BURLY MAN] Male, 40s, Caucasian. Muscular and serious with close-cropped hair.

[THE CHECKPOINT] Male, 40s, Open Ethnicity. A serious looking sort (probably trying to hold down two or three jobs to support his family) who is sitting at a desk in the underground parking garage.

[EDWINA BURKE] Female, Late 50s to early 60s, Caucasian, distinguished-looking. She is from Evergreen Academy where Joe attended school. She is tough, smart, and very much a lady, but a lonely one.

[SECURITY GUARD] Male, 40s to 50s, Caucasian. The guard at Evergreen Academy that patrols the grounds and takes his job a bit more seriously than he needs to.

[AMANDA PRYCE] Female, 14, Caucasian. Adrian’s younger sister. She is pretty, yet shy and a bit awkward-looking.

[YOUNG JOE DOUCETTE] Male, 17, Caucasian. A young Josh Brolin.

Are you looking forward to Lee’s take on “Oldboy”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!