Stop, hammer time! Park Chan-wook’s classic action thriller Oldboy is getting a TV series adaptation

Park Chan-wook is teaming up with Lionsgate to adapt an English-language Oldboy TV series based on the classic action thriller.

Oldboy, Park Chan-Wook, Lionsgate, TV series

Are you ready for some raw octopus, brutal hammer fights, and inadvertent incest? Well, I have good news for you! Lionsgate and the legendary South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook are teaming up for a series adaptation of Oldboy. Word about the Oldboy TV series follows Park’s The Sympathizer, which arrived to rave reviews on HBO. JoBlo’s Alex Maidy reviewed The Sympathizer, saying the series exceeded his expectations, with Robert Downey Jr. delivering a killer, career-high performance. The new version of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy is the first English-language series adaptation of the iconic property. Park, who directed and co-wrote the original film, is attached to produce the series along with producing partner Syd Lim.

Per today’s press release from Lionsgate:

Oldboy has earned numerous accolades, becoming the first South Korean film to win the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2004 and being named to numerous lists of the greatest movies of all time. The movie was re-released last year for its 20th anniversary, landing in the top ten at the domestic box office in its opening week, a rare feat for a re-release. Adapted from a Japanese manga of the same name, the film follows a man who is released from prison after 15 years, only to find that he must find his captor in five days. The film is part of Park’s Vengeance trilogy, which includes Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.

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

“Park is one of the most visionary storytellers of our generation, and we’re excited to partner with him in bringing his cinematic masterpiece to the television screen,” said Scott Herbst, EVP and Head of Scripted Development, Lionsgate Television. “This series adaptation of Oldboy will feature the raw emotional power, iconic fight scenes and visceral style that made the film a classic.”

In 2013, Spike Lee directed a remake of Oldboy starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Michael Imperioli, and Pom Klementieff. The remake was ill-received, with critics saying it lacked the punch of Park’s original film and felt shallow and disappointingly safe.

Park’s Oldboy holds a special place in the hearts of action fans who like their films brutal, bone-breaking, and disturbingly thrilling. Choi Min-sik’s portrayal of the film’s protagonist, Oh Dae-su, is the stuff of Korean cinema legend. I know a handful of people who will freak out when they hear today’s announcement.

Are you interested in watching Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy TV series? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.