Of all the stories of wrongful imprisonment, hardcore vendettas, and forced incest, Chan-wook Park‘s Oldboy is perhaps the most painful to watch. The Count of Monte Cristo–inspired story of revenge shows fate to be as random, and as cruel as possible to one man and his family. It’s a modern classic, and one that hardly needs remaking, but that has never stopped Hollywood. There is one lingering question, however, about Spike Lee‘s Josh Brolin-headlined Oldboy project. How will American audiences respond to the incest, trickily packaged here as romantic love?
Elizabeth Olsen, who is topping wishlists across Hollywood, was just offered the female lead, which, after Martha Marcy May Marlene and Silent House, would continue the actresses trend of disturbing roles in disturbing films. Here, she’d be responsible for simulating an act which the American public does not necessarily want to be reminded of (rent the Korean original if you can’t wait to find out).
We hear a lot about the perils of being pigeonholed as an actor. But for Olsen, the risk of taking on too many ‘shock value’ roles seems just as dangerous. Will her taste for edgy material stamp her as an actress who only acts in films involving some kind of horrendous violence and/or sexual abuse? Or will she set some kind of precedent, creating a new, more personal genre entirely? We’ll just have to wait and see.