‘Stoker’ Director Park Chan-wook Begins Production on Lesbian Drama ‘Fingersmith’

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It was reported last year that Korean director Park Chan-wook had signed on to direct his second English-language film, but it seems that project will have to wait a little longer. The director has begun production on his next film, Fingersmith, based on the 2002 crime novel by Sarah Waters. Although that novel is written in English, Chan-wook’s film will be in Korean.

Per Variety, production began last week in Japan on Fingersmith, a lesbian drama that was previously adapted for the BBC in 2005 (the image above comes from that adaptation). The novel centers on a petty thief who attempts to con an heiress, only to find that she’s fallen for the woman instead. Waters’ book is set in Victorian-era London, but Chan-wook is relocating the story to Korea, during the Japanese occupancy in the 1930s.

Chan-wook, best known for directing the original Oldboy as well as the vampire drama Thirst, made his English-language debut with 2013's Stoker. Although that film was critically acclaimed, it wasn’t exactly a box office hit, which was very unfortunate. Last year, it was reported that Chan-wook had signed on to direct Second Born, a sci-fi film about black market body-swapping.

It’s unclear if that film is still on Chan-wook’s agenda. Fingersmith was adapted by Chung Seo-kyung, who previously wrote Thirst for Chan-wook. The upcoming film stars Kim Min-hee and Kim Tae-ri, with Ha Jung-woo (the Korean thriller The Chaser) as the male lead.

Here’s the official synopsis for Waters’ Fingersmith novel from Amazon:

Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a ‘baby farmer,’ who raised her with unusual tenderness, as if Sue were her own. Mrs. Sucksby’s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves—fingersmiths—for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home.

One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives—Gentleman, an elegant con man, who carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: If she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a naïve gentlewoman, and aids Gentleman in her seduction, then they will all share in Maud’s vast inheritance. Once the inheritance is secured, Maud will be disposed of—passed off as mad, and made to live out the rest of her days in a lunatic asylum.

With dreams of paying back the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to the plan. Once in, however, Sue begins to pity her helpless mark and care for Maud Lilly in unexpected ways…But no one and nothing is as it seems in this Dickensian novel of thrills and reversals.

Fingersmith will hit theaters overseas sometime in 2016, which means we’ll probably see it in the U.S. shortly after.

Filed Under: Fingersmith, Park Chan-wook
Categories: Movie News
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