Park Chan-Wook to adapt Oldboy into TV series

Park Chan-Wook to adapt Oldboy into TV series

The Korean thriller master gives his masterpiece new life by changing formats.

Provocative and transgressive, Park Chan-Wook (Decision to Leave, Mademoiselle) shocked international audiences in 2003 with Old Boy. Adapted from a Japanese manga of the same name, this thriller marked by raw and excessive violence marks the new golden age of Korean cinema. By receiving the Grand Jury Prize in 2004 at Cannes film festival from the hands of Quentin Tarantino, Park Chan-Wook marks the new wave of Korean filmmakers of the 90s who are making their way to the West and shaking up the cinematic landscape on the international scene.

Not stopping there, the filmmaker decided to go back to basics and signed a contract with Lionsgate Television to produce a remake of his cult film – this time entirely in English. He explains this choice:

“Lionsgate Television shares my creative vision for bringing Old Boy to the television world. I look forward to working with a studio whose values ​​are based on bold, original and risky storylines.”

Second part of Park Chan-Wook's revenge trilogy, after Sympathy for Mister Vengeance and before Lady Vengeance, Old Boy tells the story of a father, Oh Dae-Soo, played by Choi Min-Sik, kidnapped and sequestered in a sealed hotel room for fifteen years. His only connection to the outside world: a television through which he learns of the murder of his wife of which he is the first suspect. One day, without explanation, Dae-Soo is released. His captor, Lee Woo-Jin, played by Yu Ji-Tae, gives him five days to find out the reasons for his imprisonment. A brutal plunge into an infernal spiral of reprisals and bloody fights – like this emblematic scene where the main character fights alone against around twenty people, using a hammer, iron bars and closed fists. All filmed in one take!

In 2013, a first American remake was released, starring Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision) and Josh Brolin (Dune, No Country for Old Men) and directed by Spike Lee (Malcolm X, Blackkklansman).

For this new adaptation, Scott Herbst, executive vice president and head of script development for Lionsgate Television, is reassuring. Old Boy will retain its extreme DNA:

“This TV series adaptation ofOld Boy will feature the raw emotional power, iconic fight scenes and visceral style that made this film a classic.”

At the moment, no one knows more about the series. Will the story be the same but the characters and locations different? Will the original cast return to reprise their roles or for cameos? Maybe the director will even take advantage of this “second chance” to change the scene that he regrets twenty years later.

20 years of Old Boy: Park Chan-wook would have liked to change this scene

While waiting to learn more about the project, Park Chan-Wook recently directed the HBO miniseries The Sympathizer. This spy series adapted from the novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Pullitzer Prize in 2016) takes place in the middle of the Cold War and features Hoa Xuande, in his very first major role, as “Captain”, a Vietnamese communist spy exiled in LA, forced to return to service. He plays opposite Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man, Oppenheimer) with multiple roles.

In France, the series is available with the Warner Pass on Prime Video.

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