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The American Oldboy remake turned out horrible, so they're making a TV series next

At least the bar is underground at this point.

Oldboy (2003)
Image credit: Show East

Almost everyone loves Spike Lee, but almost everyone also agrees that his Oldboy remake wasn't good. Somehow, we now find ourselves looking at the prospect of an Oldboy TV series.

Via The Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate Television announced on April 17 that they're partnering with Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, the man behind the original 2003 masterpiece, to develop a new "English-language adaptation of the story."

It's important to remind yourself that Oldboy already was a loose-ish adaptation of the 1990s Japanese manga of the same name written by Garon Tsuchiya and lovingly illustrated by Nobuaki Minegishi. Park Chan-wook gave it a voice of his own so strong that it quickly became the must-watch South Korean action-thriller movie for most people, only amplifying that status over the years. If the tentative TV series looks at the manga for inspiration instead, there might be a slim chance of America actually cooking this time around, but we're definitely not holding our breath.

While most cinephiles think of The Handmaiden and Decision to Leave (two excellent movies) whenever Park Chan-wook is brought up, he's been working on TV projects outside of South Korea for a few years now, helping develop shows like Snowpiercer alongside original movie director Bong Joon-ho (of Parasite fame), and directing and producing HBO's limited series The Sympathizer, which stars Robert Downey Jr, fresh from his Oppenheimer Oscar win.

"This series adaptation of Oldboy will feature the raw emotional power, iconic fight scenes and visceral style that made the film a classic," teased Scott Herbst, Lionsgate's EVP and head of scripted development. Ideally, this new adaptation will have a fresh new take on the story rather than serve as a dilluted, easier-to-digest iteration of the original banger.

Oldboy (2003) follows a man who, for some unknown reason, is kept in prison and disconnected from the outside world for 15 years. Upon his release, he tries to find his captor in five days and learn about the reason why his life was taken away from him. It's part of Park's thematic Vengeance trilogy, which includes Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, all of which, I assure you, are shocking thrillers that will linger in your mind long after you've watched them for the first time.

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