- Acting in the Dark: Elizabeth Olsen did not know the ending of the film until she watched it for the first time at the New York premiere.Elizabeth Olsen: I've never been more shocked and surprised by an ending since maybe like The Sixth Sense. No one spoiled it for me. No one hinted at it for me. And I got to experience it with just a blank canvas.
- Actor-Inspired Element: Josh Brolin personally created the title artwork.
- Box Office Bomb: Budget, $30 million. Box office, $4,861,022.
- Creator Backlash: Spike Lee and Josh Brolin were not happy with the released version, which cut 40 minutes from Lee's preferred version and had its score replaced before opening.
- Creator Killer: This was the penultimate film for Film District before it was absorbed into Focus Features.
- Creator's Oddball: Most Spike Lee films are focused on race, social commentary or real-world events in American society. This film is a remake of a rather fantastical South Korean story purely about revenge. Many people were puzzled by the choice of Lee to direct it. It isn't even referred to as "a Spike Lee joint," as his films usually are.
- Executive Meddling:
- About 40 minutes were cut from Spike Lee's original film. Notably, the hallway fight was originally done in a single take, but it ended up having parts cut out to please the studio.
- There were originally a huge amount of posters that added an atmospheric tone for the film that were screwed over by the studio heads (and Spike Lee himself too) because the artist who made them wasn't happy with the sketchy pay they were going to give him. Made worse when Spike Lee attempted to state ownership of the posters and when called out by the artist, Lee denied ever knowing him.
- What Could Have Been:
- At one point Steven Spielberg expressed interest in directing, with Will Smith in the lead role. Additionally, Spielberg and Smith announced their script was based on the (vastly different) manga.
- Rooney Mara and Mia Wasikowska were both offered the role of Marie.
- Christian Bale, Daniel Craig, Colin Firth, and Clive Owen were all offered the role of Adrian.
- The original cut of the movie was 140 minutes long and was more character-based. Both Spike Lee and Josh Brolin have said they preferred it to the 100-minute cut released to theatres, which was made due to Executive Meddling.
Trivia / Oldboy (2013)