Mr Vengeance Remake Has A Director
Sympathy for Hany Abu-Assad
Spike Lee's new Oldboy is almost upon us, but it's not the only installment of Park Chan-wook's Vengeance Trilogy to be getting an English-language makeover. As previously reported, Oldboy's predecessor Sympathy For Mr Vengeance is also re-developing fast under the aegis of producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian. And it seems a director has now been chosen, in the form of Paradise Now's Hany Abu-Assad.
Abu-Assad remains best-known for 2005's excellent Paradise Now, about Palestinian suicide bombers in Tel Aviv. He revisited the Arab-Israeli conflict with this year's Omar, which picked up the Special Jury Prize at Cannes and was viewed by many as a return to form for the director following his woeful 2012 straight-to-DVD action film The Courier, with Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Mickey Rourke.
He'll be hoping that Sympathy For Mr Vengeance is a better experience than that inauspicious US debut, and you can't argue with the strength of the material. The film, if it follows the original faithfully, will involve a deaf-mute protagonist resorting to abduction, black marketeering and a bit of the old ultraviolence to secure the funds for a organ transplant for his ailing sister.
Oldboy was loosely based on a lengthy manga, so you can just about choose to view Spike Lee's film as a re-adaptation of material that exists independently to the Park classic. But there's no getting around calling Sympathy For Mr Vengeance a remake, since Park's screenplay for this one was entirely original. The new version has been hammered out by Brian Tucker (Broken City). Shooting will start once a cast has been assembled. Watch this space as those details emerge.