Park Chan-wook's Iconic Thriller 'Oldboy' Is Being Turned Into an English-Language TV Series

After writing and directing the original South Korean movie, which was based on a Japanese manga, the filmmaker will produce the new TV version.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 18, 2024

When Parasite became a smash that just kept winning awards — including Cannes' Palm d'Or, Sydney Film Festival's annual prize and a heap of Oscars — news arrived that the best film of 2019 would also get the TV treatment. So far, that hasn't come to fruition, sadly. But another stone-cold South Korean thriller masterpiece is now on its way to the small screen: Park Chan-wook's Oldboy.

2024 marks 21 years since the Decision to Leave, The Handmaiden, Joint Security Area, Thirst and Stoker director gave the world the first screen adaptation the Japanese manga of the same name — and also a middle chapter to his Vengeance Trilogy, following 2002's Sympathy for Mr Vengeance and preceding 2005's Lady Vengeance. Now, after an American movie remake popped up in 2013 directed by none other than Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods), Oldboy is making the leap to television. Just as with the US flick, the TV show will be in English.

"Lionsgate Television shares my creative vision for bringing Oldboy into the world of television," said Park in a statement, as reported by Variety. "I look forward to working with a studio whose brand stands for bold, original and risk-taking storytelling," he continued.

Park will produce the series, adding another small-screen effort to his resume alongside 2018's The Little Drummer Girl and 2024's The Sympathizer.

Park's Oldboy kicks off in 1988, when Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik, Big Bet) gets too drunk to attend his daughter's fourth birthday, even ending up at the police station. He doesn't get home from there, instead becoming imprisoned in a hotel room for 15 years by kidnappers intent on keeping him alive. When freedom finally comes, so does a bloody revenge quest.

"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," said Lionsgate Television's Executive Vice President and Head of Scripted Development Scott Herbst about the new TV show.

While there's no word yet about how closely the storyline will adhere to the original — and nothing on casting, either, or when the show will release — Herbst also advised that "this series adaptation of Oldboy will feature the raw emotional power, iconic fight scenes and visceral style that made the film a classic."

There's obviously no sneak peek yet for the Oldboy TV series — but find the trailer for Park's film above and Lee's film below:

The Oldboy TV series doesn't yet have a release date — we'll update you when more details are announced.

Via Variety.

Published on April 18, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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