As reported by Screen Daily, Warner Brothers has picked up the remake rights to South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. Various folks from Bonaventura Pictures, CJ Entertainment, and Room 101 will produce, while Brian Tucker has been tapped to write the script. The original film is the first in Chan-wook’s fanboy-adored Vengeance Trilogy. For the uninitiated, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a noirish, violent, and ultra-graphic crime thriller that follows two men as they become ensnared on opposing ends of a grueling series of desperate acts and unfortunate twists of fate that ultimately results in both characters sinking to the darkest of depths in intersecting quests for…you guessed it…vengeance. It was released in 2002 to disappointing box office results in both South Korea and North America but managed to pick up a cult following.
Hit the jump for why film geeks around the world likely just felt a great disturbance in the force.
Before stalling a couple months ago, the Hollywood remake of Oldboy, the second film in Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, had started to pick up steam, with Will Smith gearing up to star and Steven Spielberg in talks to direct. In most scenarios, that would be a veritable dream team for just about everyone; however, fan reaction was mixed, to put it mildly. Aside from just plain not liking the idea of Hollywoodization, many devotees doubted that Spielberg, glowing though his track record may be, had what it took to do justice to Chan-wook’s pervasively dark, stylish, and poignant film. And you can bet that those same fans will be equally guarded with Sympathy when it progresses to the point of adding a director.
One person I’d be intrigued to see tackle this property and someone who would likely be met with a larger degree of fan acceptance is David Fincher; unfortunately, he’s pretty much booked until the end of time. Regardless, whoever ends up sitting in the helmer’s chair will likely need a fair bit of twisted shit on his resume to appease the faithful.