News from Cannes is that Park Chan-Wook’s (박찬욱) latest film, Thirst (박쥐), will get the Hollywood makeover treatment. This follows news over the past years that each film from Park’s thematically-related revenge trilogy will also get a Hollywood-style facelift. Of particular disappointment is the news that Lady Vengeance (친절한 금자씨) is being developed for Charlize Theron (the original starred the incomparable Lee Young-Ae) wile Oldboy (올드보이) is being remade by none other than Steven Spielberg with Will Smith set to star. While I’ve always thought that Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (복수는 나의 것) is Park’s best, especially due to the amazing performances by Shin Ha-Kyun (신하균) and one of the world’s greatest living actors – Song Kang-Ho (송강호), I don’t think the other two films will be worth seeing for any reason beyond morbid curiosity. Yes, Mr. Spielberg, even if you’re involved. The reason is that the themes and presentation of Park’s films do not lend themselves to the diluted sensibilities of Hollywood. Park is far from South Korea’s best director, but he is a strong creative force and a definite auteur, someone who personalizes his films for artistic reasons.
On a final note, Charlize Theron?? Who in their right mind would ever think this to be a good idea?