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What would twenty years in captivity do to you? What if you didn’t know why you were being held or who put you there? How far would you go for answers? These are just some of the pressing questions explored in Spike Lee and Josh Brolin’s remake of the 2003 Korean thriller, “Oldboy,” by director Chan-wook Park.

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In “Oldboy” Josh Brolin plays Joe Doucett, a boorish advertising executive and absentee father who is kidnapped and placed in solitary confinement for 20 long years. One day he is inexplicably released from his hotel-like prison and wakes up in the middle of a field with a pocket full of money and not a clue as to how he got there–except for a mysterious woman twirling a yellow umbrella.  The plot unfolds as Doucett tries to follow bread crumbs to find the person responsible for his incarceration.

The original “Oldboy” was a cult favorite marked by its violence and cultural taboos, so when word spread that Lee was tapped to direct the remake there was concern–as with most remakes–that it wouldn’t live up to the template. But Spike and writer Mark Protosevich (“I Am Legend,” “The Cell”) took particular pains to put their twist on the story.

“I had to make it different,” Spike tells “Josh went to Park for his blessing and he told Josh you have my blessing but make sure you make your own film, don’t try to replicate what we did.”

Part of making it different was employing the acting talents of longtime friend Samuel L. Jackson. This is the first time Spike and “The Avengers” star have worked together on a feature film since 1991’s “Jungle Fever.”

In this exclusive sit-down, Spike Lee talks about working with Sam Jax, being honored with the song “Spike Lee Was My Hero” and if we’ll ever get another “Crooklyn Dodgers” track.

“Oldboy” is in theaters November 27th!


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