Park Chan-Wook Joins Lionsgate TV to Adapt 'Oldboy' into English-Language Series

Exploring the cinematic journey of 'Oldboy' from screen to series.

by Nouman Rasool
Park Chan-Wook Joins Lionsgate TV to Adapt 'Oldboy' into English-Language Series
© Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Esteemed filmmaker Park Chan-wook is venturing into new territory by transforming his critically acclaimed film, Oldboy, into an English-language series, developed in collaboration with Lionsgate Television. This marks the first time the South Korean director, who also co-wrote the 2003 original, will adapt one of his own films for television.

Park is set to produce the series with his long-time collaborator, Syd Lim. Oldboy is based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Garon Tsuchiya. The story unravels the life of Oh Dae-su, portrayed by Choi Min-sik, who is abducted and confined in a cell for 15 years without explanation.

Upon his sudden release, he is given just five days to uncover the identity of his captor. The film is the second installment of Park’s Vengeance trilogy, which also includes Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005).

Oldboy's Acclaimed Legacy

The original Oldboy received international acclaim and numerous awards, including the prestigious Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, a notable first for a South Korean film. The narrative was previously adapted by Spike Lee in 2013, with Josh Brolin taking on the lead role as Joe Doucett.

"Lionsgate Television aligns perfectly with my vision for bringing Oldboy into the realm of television," Park commented. "I am eager to work with a studio recognized for its commitment to daring, original, and adventurous storytelling." Scott Herbst, EVP and Head of Scripted Development at Lionsgate Television, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, "Park Chan-wook is a towering figure in cinema, and it is our privilege to help transition his cinematic gem to TV.

This adaptation will maintain the emotional intensity, iconic sequences, and stylistic flair that have made the film a landmark." The project is being managed by Lionsgate executives Courtney Mock and Tara Joshi, with Bryan Weiser handling the negotiations.

Park’s directorial prowess extends beyond Oldboy, with notable works like The Handmaiden (2016), and Decision to Leave (2022), for which he won the Best Director at Cannes. His recent projects include producing and directing The Sympathizer with Robert Downey, Jr., which is currently airing on HBO, and he is preparing to debut his new film, Uprising, on Netflix later this year.

Park is represented by WME, Industry Entertainment, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller. This series promises to be a compelling new chapter in Park’s illustrious career, blending classic storytelling with fresh, dynamic television narrative.