Who says Tinseltown is short on original ideas? Er, everybody and all of everybody’s friends, that’s who.
Today’s case in point: there are three entirely separate remakes of Chan-wook Park’s Vengeance Trilogy currently bubbling away at three entirely separate Hollywood production companies.
Probably Korea’s most renowned modern movie-maker, Park made his own Stateside debut earlier this year with the deceptive (and not-at-all-bad) horror-mystery Stoker. But he remains most famous for a trio of revenge-themed features released between 2002 and 2005.
That trilogy consists of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance (also know as Sympathy for Lady Vengeance), and while all three present individual stories, they are united by a glorious fatalism of thematic intent, majestically gory outbreaks of truly brutal violence, and wild mood shifts from dark to light and back again.
Reports today have confirmed that first outing, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, is now being developed in an English-language iteration by Transformers producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian.
No stars or director are attached yet, but a script is being written by Brian Tucker, who previously penned the critically-panned Russell Crowe-Mark Wahlberg flop, Broken City.
Speaking of the artist formerly known as Marky Mark, he was nominated for an Oscar once. Really! For Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, which itself was a remake of an earlier Asian cinema smash, Infernal Affairs, adapted for the US by William Monaghan, who is attached as remake writer on Lady Vengeance.
Monaghan is remodelling Lady V as a vehicle for producer-star Charlize Theron, and he has said of his planned adaptation: “This will be very American – and very unexpected. Park is a genius; it’s the Everest of adaptation and I’ve got blood in my teeth to do it.” Sounds delightful.
However, coming to multiplexes before either of those is Oldboy USA (as it’s not actually called – just Oldboy, like the original). Directed by Spike Lee and starring Josh Brolin as the man locked in a room for 20 years (up from 15) before being unleashed to hunt down his captor, the movie is due for release in October this year.
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