Park Chan-wook developing TV adaptation of cult thriller Oldboy

Park Chan-wook developing TV adaptation of cult thriller Oldboy

Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook may just have finished his new show but that doesn’t mean he’s resting.

Park is partnering with Lionsgate Television to develop a series version of his 2003 cult revenge thriller film Oldboy.

The new project will be an English-language adaption of his film, which itself was based on a Japanese manga with the same name.

“Lionsgate Television shares my creative vision for bringing Oldboy into the world of television,” said Park.

“I look forward to working with a studio whose brand stands for bold, original and risk-taking storytelling”.

Oldboy, which Park directed and co-wrote, follows a man who is kidnapped and kept prisoner for 15 years without knowing why. Released one day with no explanation, he now has five days to find out what happened to him and who his captor is. Oldboy is the second installment of Park’s Vengeance trilogy, which also includes 2002’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and 2005’s Lady Vengeance.

A still from Oldboy (Moviestore/Shutterstock)
A still from Oldboy (Moviestore/Shutterstock)

On its release, Oldboy was acclaimed for its violence, plot twists, and action – in particular, a memorable single-take hallway fight sequence. A recent restoration was released for American theatres last year for its 20th anniversary. An official English-language adaptation, directed by Spike Lee and starring Josh Brolin, was made in 2013, but it has never been adapted for television.

“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,” added Scott Herbst, EVP and Head of Scripted Development, Lionsgate Television.

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

Park is easily considered among the most prominent South Korean filmmakers, and is known for directing Thirst in 2009, BAFTA-winningThe Handmaiden in 2016, and Decision to Leave in 2022.

Park produced the English-language dystopian thriller Snowpiercer, which was adapted into a television series, directed AMC miniseries Little Drummer Girl in 2018, and is currently directing and producing HBO’s limited series The Sympathizer starring Robert Downey Jr.