“Oldboy” television adaptation in the works from Park Chan-wook

The iconic Korean film celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, and continues to influence modern action movies.

Park Chan-wook is sticking to the world of TV. Just days after the premiere of The Sympathizer, the new HBO series he wrote and directed based on the novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, the acclaimed Korean filmmaker has announced his next miniseries: an adaptation of his own 2003 movie, Oldboy.

“Park is one of the most visionary storytellers of our generation, and we’re excited to partner with him in bringing his cinematic masterpiece to the television screen,” Lionsgate Television executive Scott Herbst said in a statement. “This series adaptation of Oldboy will feature the raw emotional power, iconic fight scenes, and visceral style that made the film a classic.”

<p>Tartan Films/courtesy Everett</p> Min-sik Choi in 'Oldboy'

Tartan Films/courtesy Everett

Min-sik Choi in 'Oldboy'

Oldboy marked its 20th anniversary last year with a theatrical re-release and new remastered version. It originally won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and helped popularize South Korean cinema across the globe. The movie stars Choi Min-sik as Oh Dae-su, a man who gets kidnapped and is imprisoned in a hotel room for 15 years. After he is suddenly freed without explanation, he sets out to find the identity of his captors.

The film is one of several Park works that deal with the idea of vengeance, and its classic single-take hallway fight scene remains an inspiration for many modern action scenes.

Oldboy has already had one English-language remake, the 2013 film directed by Spike Lee and starring Josh Brolin. This new series will be its first TV adaptation, and it will also be in English. No casting has been announced. So far, Park is only confirmed as its producer, not the director.

Back in January 2020, Park’s friend Bong Joon Ho announced that he was working on a TV adaptation of his recent Oscar-winning film, Parasite, but that project seems to be on pause as Bong tackles his next movie, Mickey 17.

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