As you may know, a little Asian obsession of mine called The Host has hit the remake mill by way of Roy Lee and Universal Pictures. While I may have some respect in the bank for Universal, Roy Lee’s decision to put Justin Lin in charge of his Oldboy remake has landed him in the red indefinitely. Thus, I (and others) have zero faith in Lee to sanction a Host remake that has anything close to the originals’ family values or social satire. Joon-ho Bong’s featured a dysfunctional family on the far edge of poverty whose prize daughter is kidnapped by the giant and grotesque product of an irresponsible and possibly retarded representative of the US military presence in South Korea who had ordered the dumping of a massive amount of formaldehyde into the Han River.
Mixed in with the rampaging and frantic searching for the kidnapped is a barrage of attacks towards both the US and South Korean governments and their wild inability to manage the situation. It was this key social setting combined with Bong’s excellent story telling that launched The Host into box office history, becoming the highest grossing film in Korean history.
The only way I can fathom an American remake matching this key ingredient is if it is set in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The devastation allows for an excuse of contamination by fault of the US government. The lives in question could be a poor family that stayed during the storm, thus their disdain for the government would be obvious. Two tiny factors that allow for as compatible a transfer of cultures as possible, plus you then have a sparsely populated arena to run around in.
Think about it. An enormous monster using the wreckage of yet repaired NOLA to store its snacks, people screaming at the inept government trying to manage the whole thing. It would be glorious.
But, it will never happen. It’ll be set on the O.C. shoreline and feature a millionaire family that no one could ever give a damn about. And I’ll wake up from my dream of what could have been without Roy Lee and sigh after spotting the tears on my pillow.