When Park Chan-wook fell into Hollywood, his prior filmography also hitched a ride. (No great surprise there.) While Spike Lee is already hard at work on the American-ized take of his much-loved 2004 thriller, Oldboy, a just-as-promising remake is falling into place with Annapurna Pictures and a few big creative names.
A press release announces the start of development on Sympathy for Lady Vengeance — the final entry in Park‘s Vengeance Trilogy, the second installment being Oldboy — which screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) will make his directorial follow-up to London Boulevard. In the starring role (and playing a very tough character) is Charlize Theron, one who’s been trying to get this off the ground since those long-forgotten days of 2009; fitting that her company, Denver & Delilah Films, will be producing with CJ Entertainment.
Like the two films which come before it (but are not necessary to the experience of seeing any others), Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is a violent and grim time, thus making it a project in need of paring down for its next incarnation. You can understand when told it’s the story of a woman who serves the full prison sentence for a crime she never committed — protecting her daughter, you know — only to finally be released and, in the spirit of Park, get herself bloody. Very bloody. It may still be for Monahan, but also, too, “very American – and very unexpected.” He’s even got “blood in [his] teeth” over the thing.
Risks do, admittedly, abound for translating this to a different country — one more ambivalent about onscreen violence, history will show — but, with he and Theron doing the work, they’re the sort we should be willing to take. If you don’t buy any of what’s being hawked, it would’ve been wise to say upfront that kids probably get killed.
Do Monahan and Theron make for a wise pairing on a Sympathy for Lady Vengeance remake? Should it even be happening?
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