Good on Brolin

Deadline is reporting that Josh Brolin will star in Spike Lee‘s Oldboy, a remake of Park Chan-wook‘s 2003 cult thriller. The script (which I wouldn’t mind reading if anyone has a PDF lying around) is by Mark Protosevich. Pic will roll in March or seven months’ hence. Brolin’s next gig is Warner Bros’ Gangster Squad. Then comes Oldboy followed by a June lensing of Jason Reitman‘s Labor Day, costarring Kate Winslet. Let’s ignore the fact that Brolin is in Men in Black 3 — nobody wants to think about that.

47 thoughts on “Good on Brolin

  1. Kakihara on said:

    Why do they keep trying to make him into a lead when he’s clearly box office poison?

  2. Like 96% or 97% of the actors out there, Brolin doesn’t put asses in seats if the movie looks like it might suck. Movies sink or swim according to their own vibe and merit and buzz. But put Brolin in a good film and he’s fine, and so is the film as far as it goes. Did Brolin poison the income earned by No Country for Old Men? Of course not. Plus he’s a genuine hard guy, an authentic middle-agd dude with a lived-in face. That has a definite value when it comes to certain films.

  3. Needless Remake Alert! Needless Brolin Alert!

    Brolin doesn’t have what it takes to eat a live octopus…twice! Is Spike Lee going to re-lens the hallway/hammer scene? Enjoy the new, less-effective ending American audiences!

    The best thing about this news tidbit is that it reminds me about how awesome Min-sik Choi is in I Saw the Devil.

  4. I don’t see Spike just aping a Korean director. That said, I would love it if the hallway fight is Spike’s trademark “glide” while everyone falls around Brolin.

  5. Jeff: “Did Brolin poison the income earned by No Country for Old Men? ”

    Brolin wasn’t the draw in NCFOM. Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem were the draws.

    Dan: The octopus will probably be changed to an ostrich or something. BTW, I love how the Medallion used that same scene a few months earlier, but PCW somehow gets the credit for it.

  6. hong kong action movies are the most overrated subgenre in film. they’re almost all awful and the original was no exception.

  7. Brolin’s lived-in face is strictly the result of genetics and has absolutely nothing to do with him earning it. It’s not like he’s been working as a ranch hand in the Texas sun for the last 30 years, although, strangely enough, that’s kind of what him and his handlers are trying to convince you he is – some authentic good old boy. He’s just another Malibu pretty boy who has spent his entire adult life banging primo peepers and surfing. I am jealous. If life was fair, he would have peaked as a cologne model.

  8. come on, milkman… forget the image, hasn’t the guy done some good work? he’s watchable. that’s not true for a lot of people getting at least as much handling as he does.

  9. No, the Coen Bros. and critical acclaim were what put butts into $75M worth of seats on that puppy. The entire ensemble of Jones, Bardem, Brolin, and Harrelson helped of course.

    There’s no way this doesn’t get watered down and is entirely pointless. It’s the kind of film that should remain a reward for those of us who don’t give a shit if a movie has subtitles or not.

    I swear I’m going to tell the next person who bitches about that with a “I don’t go to the movies to read like I’m back in school” with a sneering “grow the fuck up.”

  10. He’s been really good in the two films he’s done with the Coen Bros, but they always get great performances out of their actors. Other than that, I have no idea what his career resurgence is about. None. It seems random. Or it’s based on a perception of him that I don’t share. And his casting in Oldboy makes no sense to me. He connotes “mild-mannered salaryman turned revenge-obessed pyscho” about as much as Brad Pitt connotes “numbers-crunching business operations whiz,” which is why Moneyball looks like such a flatliner to me. It’s going to take a genius to convince me that Brad Pitt is the smartest guy in a room. People forget that an actor’s persona always informs the characters they choose to play, whether that’s fair or not, whether an actor has unlimited range or not. Someone had decided that Josh Brolin is star, just like they’ve decided that Ryan Reynolds is a star when he’s clearly not, and they’re not going to change their mind until they’ve been proven wrong over and over again, and that’s when Josh Brolin will find himself right back where he began.

  11. The cool thing about Spike is that he goes for broke. Sometimes he hits, sometimes he misses. But for damn sure this won’t be some candy ass remake.

  12. There’s no way this doesn’t get watered down and is entirely pointless

    The twist isn’t in the manga, and in fact was the worst part about that movie.

  13. Brolin’s stepmom is Barbra Streisand. He could suck in everything he appears in (he doesn’t) and he’d still get work. I like him quite a bit, though I don’t know if I’d see a movie just because he’s in it. Although I actually liked him better in No Country for Old Men than Bardem.

  14. I think it’s a bit unfair to suggest that Brolin’s recent success is the result of nepotism. Obviously he’s in Hollywood because of his Dad, but his recent raft of performances have been excellent, and it seems that quality directors genuinely want to work with him. He was in years of shit projects before his career picked up.

    George Clooney’s got plenty of Hollywood connections that no doubt greased the wheels of his career, but you don’t get people accusing him of being simply the product of nepotism. His career mirrors Brolin’s in many ways.

  15. The original was so raw and inventive, I don’t see how this can be anything but a caricature. And Spike hasn’t made a decent film since 25th Hour. Brolin’s a solid actor, but by no means does his addition forecast anything of substance. Case and point: Jonah Hex (and quite possibly MiB 3).

    Regardless, I think I speak for everyone when I say THANK GOD Spielberg and the Fresh Prince have nothing to do with this.

  16. Apologies, Rashad. I forgot you existed, so I’ll rephrase.

    “I think I speak for all sensible, intelligent people…”

  17. Again, you don’t. Spielberg is infinitely more talented than Lee, and Smith is better than Brolin. (He also did the isolation thing before.) They aren’t keeping the incest angle, and its supposed to be an adaptation of the comic. So whatever perverse “edge” you think this might have, it won’t be there. Just expect a straight up revenge story.

  18. “Spielberg is infinitely more talented than Lee”

    False.

    “Smith is better than Brolin.”

    False.

    “So whatever perverse “edge” you think this might have, it won’t be there.”

    That was exactly my point. It will be a miracle if this doesn’t seem diluted compared to the original.

  19. I really don’t get the love for the movie. I think it’s good, but everything good about it is part of your typical revenge film. The twist is shit. He fucks his daughter – big deal. It was handled and explained in the most laughable manner possible. Every single decision, and action had to be planned to the most incalculable degree. And they explain this with fucking hypnotism. At least in Angel Heart, when Rourke fucks his daughter, his adversary in the matter is the actual Devil himself. The popularity of this movie is purely part of the Asian lovefest most people have for their overrated movies.

  20. Jeff, please don’t use the term “lensing” again when referring to a film going into production.

    You sound like one of those twats from Variety.

  21. If Norton didn’t have a rep for being a pain in this ass this would totally be his role. He has street cred for this kinda shit. Maybe someone will catch Jonah Hex on HBO and reconsider? I also think Norton could behave for a director he respected.

  22. ‘And Spike hasn’t made a decent film since 25th Hour.’

    Inside Man was a good film and 25th Hour was more than a decent film.

  23. Eloi: ” His career mirrors Brolin’s in many ways.”

    Except Clooney’s successful and photogenic.

    Rashad: “Spielberg is infinitely more talented than Lee, and Smith is better than Brolin.”

    Sorry, but Malcolm X > Amistad and The Color Purple. I will agree with you on Smith, but either one of them would still suck for Oldboy. Plus, I will agree that the original film was overrated, and that I still don’t see why people like PCW.

  24. The character in the original “Oldboy” didn’t start out as a mild mannered businessman, he was a loutish asshole. I can see Brolin playing the pre-captivity character as a burned out frat boy type, probably a Wall Streeter or something of the like, pretty easily. The rest of the film, some of the captivity madness stuff…errrmmm, not so much.

  25. Yeah, Ed Norton would’ve been a great choice. I wonder if Spike Lee would be against working with him again.

    I also wonder if it’s awkward on the set of Bourne Legacy, with Renner avoiding Avengers talk.

  26. Are Rashad and Kakihara one and the same? It seems they could exist in an echo chamber and neither one would be able to rightly point to who said what.

  27. I really don’t get the love for the movie. I think it’s good,glynn blog The best thing about this news tidbit is that it reminds me about how awesome Min-sik Choi is in I Saw the Devi

  28. No need for an OLDBOY remake. The original is there to be seen. These remakes remind me of Pat Boone covering authentic Blues artists in the fifties. I agree that the incest complication in the story is cheap and a third act of desperation for the hack (exception for movieGod Robert Towne).Brolin is good, but just as good as many actors we never get to see. Nepotism must play a part in some of his success/employment. Brolin has had more chances than a Fireman’s raffle. As for Josh being a “hard guy”, I have heard he “pushes” my sweetheart Diane Lane around. Diane call me. I can help.

  29. “Lensing” sounds a bit stilted to me as well, but what other word can you use? “Recording to hard drive”? Well, I guess they still use film in Hollywood, but even then you need a lot of synonyms in your bag of tricks to keep from repeating yourself when writing about this business.

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