Hollywood and the Judicial system are like ying and yang. For years directors and producers have had to deal with lawyers and legal tape to obtain the right to adapt established properties. No matter how big you are in the business it will find a way to get to you, just ask Steven Spielberg. According to /Film, his adaptation of Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy has run into some legal woes.
The publisher of the Oldboy manga, from which the film’s are based is suing the Korean production company Show East over the American adaptation.
Futabasha is suing to confirm the lack of a binding contract between the two parties, due to an alleged breach. Futabasha asserts that Show East violated its basic agreement with Futabasha, and thus nullified it, when Show East pushed for the production of a film remake with America’s Universal Pictures. Show East signed its contract with Futabasha over film rights in September of 2002, and signed a second contract in December of 2003 that amended the original one to cover other materials.
The original film was released back in 2003 and went on to win several awards, and earned critical acclaim for director Chan-wook Park. Spielberg is attempting to make another adaptation from the manga itself as opposed to a remake of Park’s film.
I don’t know how long they will be wrapped up in litigation regarding the film rights to the story. These types of procedures can drag out in court for years, eventually to the point where everyone loses interest. This may come as music to the ears of die hard fans who’ve been against the movie since the very beginning. It may not be completely dunzo, but it’s a nice delay tactic.
Do you think Spielberg should continue to make his Old Boy adaptation?