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Spike Lee’s remake of the classic South Korean movie Oldboy is due out later this year. Starring Josh Brolin, Samuel L Jackson, Elizabeth Olsen and Lance Reddick, the psychological thriller tells the story of an ad executive who is kept prisoner for 20 years. He has no idea why he’s been locked up and his captor carefully controls his environment.

Suddenly, he’s free and looking for answers. What happened while he was away and where’s his daughter?
If it’s even half as good as the original, it’ll be a great film, but it’s by no means the first time Hollywood has turned to Asia for inspiration. Here’s a selection of the best Hollywood remakes of Asian movies.

5. The Hunger Games

Technically speaking, The Hunger Games is not a remake, being based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. However, it has been frequently commented on the striking similarities between both the book and the film and their Japanese counterparts, Battle Royale, in which children are placed on an island and told to kill each other until one is left.

The Hunger Games is a dystopian vision of the future where children from each of a previously rebellious district are selected to take part in an annual battle to the death where only one may survive. It’s resemblance to Battle Royale is not the only controversy the film sparked – the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, the lead role, was deemed unrealistic because the character would have spent her life undernourished and Lawrence was felt to be too chubby, a claim which was, quite rightly, dismissed. Other casting controversies surrounding the hiring of African American actors to play Rue, Thresh and Cinna, despite the fact that they are clearly African American in the book. The film was banned in Vietnam for its violence.
Despite all this, the film was well received and was nominated for a number of awards, winning many of them. Lawrence was particularly praised, winning a number of Best Actress Awards.

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  • Cyn

    Originals are way better. What still annoys me is how they adapted the Ring from Ringu. In the original, to survive, you not only had to copy the tape but also show it so someone else. It changes the dynamics and the moral concept drastically.

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