With filming now underway on Spike Lee’s remake/adaptation of “Oldboy,” the New Orleans set has been largely leak-free, aside from a few set photos that showed off a buzz-cut, ripped Josh Brolin in the lead role, so we were more than a little intrigued when
Ziggy Sobotka James Ransone opened up to Entertainment Weekly about the film in a new interview.
Ransone, who only recently joined the cast of “Oldboy,” replacing Nate Parker, spoke candidly about the secretive project and even directly addressed some of the concerns from the more diehard fans of the Chan-wook Park original. “I have seen the original. It was after I got the part, to see what it was,” Ransone said. “There was so much build-up about it. People built it up to be a masterpiece. I didn’t think it was sacrilege we’re remaking it.”
The actor described his character as a doctor who works with the woman played by Elizabeth Olsen. Ransone’s character did not appear in original film, but in the comics, and the actor says we can expect more comic material from Lee’s film.
“They’ve taken more from the comic book than they did from the original movie, in the script,” he said. “The real issue is the expectation that it’s going to be a really watered down version. People should remember that Spike’s polemic, an antagonistic director.”
From the way Ransone talks about Lee’s film, it sounds like we will be seeing quite a different movie, but one element that should stick around is the intensity coming from the lead performance. Ransone praised Brolin’s dedication to the role and the many physical transformations he’s gone through.
“Josh, no matter what people’s expectation of the movie is, is really intense. He’s been living with this. He knew he was going to do this for a long time. His A-game is really intense. In the remake, the captivity scenes are longer than in the original,” Ransone said. “In the remake, they get more in-depth. What Josh did to his body, I’ve never seen an actor do before. He showed up pretty lean, pretty cut, and they shot the scene pretty much in sequence. In the course of nine days, he was ripped, he was fat, and then he was ripped again. He gained 35 pounds in one week, and then he dropped 19 pounds.”
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