OLDBOY Director Park Chan-wook Set to Adapt FINGERSMITH into Korean-Language Thriller

     September 2, 2014


I quite enjoyed Park Chan-wook‘s English-language debut, Stoker, but it looks like he’ll be returning to his native South Korea for his follow-up.  According to Screen Daily, Park is set to adapt Sarah Waters‘ 2002 novel Fingersmith, and will begin casting this month.  Waters’ book is set in Victorian London, and focuses on young women are who work as petty thieves (“fingersmiths”).  The book was previously adapted in 2005 into a two-part BBC miniseries starring Sally Hawkins and Imelda Staunton.  Park is resetting his adaptation to Korea sometime during the Japanese occupation (1910 – 1945).  The Korean title, “Agashi”, directly translates to “Young Lady” or “Miss”.  There’s currently no English title for the project.

Production is set to begin in the first half of 2015.  Hit the jump to read the synopsis for Waters’ novel.

Here’s the synopsis for Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith:

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. [Amazon]


  • lord jim

    Stoker was okay but it is still his least interesting movie.Asian directors who go to Hollywood loose their freedom and mojo, just look at Kim Jee-woon or John Woo, so I am glad he is returning to South Korea.In Asia a director still very much works as an auteur which doesn´t work with the american studio system.

    • GrimReaper07

      Dude, John Woo made Face Off. That movie is pure bliss. Also, Bong Joon-ho just made Snowpiercer, which is among his best films.

      • lord jim

        Dude, Face Off is great fun, but it is the only good movie John Woo made in Hollywood (you probably forgot about Hard Target, Mission Impossible 2, Broken Arrow, Windtalkers) and it still doesn´t even come close to his chinese movies.And Snowpiercer is a european/japanese production – it was only distributed by the Weinstein Brothers for the american market, who by the way did not like the result, and tried to cut it down, like they do with everything else.

      • lord jim

        p.s.and then they waited for an american release until Snowpiercer was out on bluray in Europe, which is again typical for the Weinstein brothers.Those bastards even forced Scorsese to mutilate Gangs of New York by adding a voice over and a love story.

      • GrimReaper07

        True dat in pretty much everything you’ve said. I forgot about the whole Weinstein debacle. Still, I liked Stoker for what it was. It doesn’t come close to his best work, but its a good movie I thought.

  • CJ

    On one had I’m glad he’s going back to South Korea for his next movie. But on the other I’m disappointed he isn’t making THE BRIGANDS OF RATTLEBORGE, an incredibly bleak, violent western and one of the greatest unproduced scripts in Hollywood.

    I have no real hope of that movie ever getting made, but I did allow myself to do a little happy dance when the trades announced Park’s attachment.

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