Park Chan-wook is bringing his iconic revenge thriller Oldboy to television for the first time.

Lionsgate announced today they were partnering with Park on an Oldboy TV show. This would be an English TV series. Park’s film, released in 2003, was made in his home country of Korea. It was based on an acclaimed Japanese manga series by Garon Tsuchiya and illustrated by Nobuaki Minegishi.

“Lionsgate Television shares my creative vision for bringing Oldboy into the world of television. I look forward to working with a studio whose brand stands for bold, original and risk-taking storytelling,” said Park.


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Oldboy is the story of a man who is imprisoned for 15 years in a hotel room, without ever knowing who trapped him there, or why. When he is finally released, he sets off to find his captor and get his revenge. The central role in the film was played by Choi Min-sik.

Park’s film became his international calling card; it won an award at the Cannes Film Festival, and greatly increased his profile around the world.

This show will not be the first English-language adaptation of Oldboy. In 2013, Spike Lee made his own Oldboy starring Josh Brolin in the central role, with Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley in the other two key roles. Despite the terrific cast and a great director, Oldboy was a critical and commercial flop. (Lee was so displeased with the cut that was released to theaters that he refused to put his typical “A Spike Lee Joint” title card on the front of the film.)

So there’s no guarantee an Oldboy show will work in an American context or for American audiences. But the original Oldboy remains a classic, and with Park involved as producer you have to be at least a little curious about the project...

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