Korean classic Oldboy may be set for a Hollywood remake from Steven Spielberg and Will Smith, it has emerged.

Industry newspaper Variety reports the pair are in early negotiations to direct and star in a remake of Chan Wook-park's 2003 revenge thriller, pending the completion of a new script.

The original starred Min-sik Choi as a South Korean man who is imprisoned in a shabby cell for 15 years, without explanation.

When he's unexpectedly released and handed money, a mobile phone and clothes, he embarks on a mission to find his kidnappers and take revenge, finding an unlikely love interest along the way.

The US remake had previously been attached to Universal Pictures, with Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift helmer Justin Lin to direct and Nicolas Cage to play the kidnapped man.

But according to Variety, Spielberg and Smith's hopes of working together are now close to being realised in the shape of an unexpected remake.

While the pairing of Spielberg and Smith is likely to represent huge box office success, it is thought their take on Oldboy would involve lightening the original material, with famously dark scenes including a fight in which a hammer is used as a weapon and another in which the formerly-imprisoned man eats a live octopus.

Smith can next be seen in drama Seven Pounds, released in January, while Spielberg's next directing project is an adaptation of Herge's Tintin.

07/11/2008 11:37:08