Posted on Thursday, January 7th, 2010 by Devindra Hardawar
While we may have dodged a bullet with Spielberg’s Oldboy remake, it looks like another film in the Vengeance Trilogy has gotten a visit from the remake fairy. We’ve learned that Warner Brothers has purchased the rights to Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, the first film in the trilogy. They’ve already tasked writing duties to one Brian Tucker, who is so far only credited as the writer to one other project — an upcoming film entitled Broken City.
The original film concerns a deaf-mute man who is desperate to find a replacement kidney for his dying sister. He eventually kidnaps his boss’s daughter, and things get bad from there.
I’m a fan of all the Vengeance Trilogy films, but I’ll admit that Mr. Vengeance is my least favorite. While it’s a pretty effective film, it doesn’t have the cinematic bravado of Oldboy, or the sheer audacity of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. I hold those films in such high regard that I think remaking them properly would be nearly impossible. For Oldboy, you’d have to do justice to the original’s towering style, performances, score — pretty much everything. And with Lady Vengeance, you’d have to convince the studio to actually tackle the fucked up depths that the original explores (and this goes for Oldboy as well).
Mr. Vengeance, on the other hand, could be turned into an American film pretty easily. At its core is a tale of revenge not unlike what we often see in American cinema, and a good writer could even improve on the pacing of the original. Unfortunately, we have no way to measure Brian Tucker’s writing yet, but I’m hoping that the studio isn’t dumb enough to task a terrible writer on this project. WB still needs to find a director talented enough to step into Chan-Wook Park’s shoes, but otherwise this doesn’t seem like a remake worth busting out the pitchforks over.
Discuss: Are you game for a Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance remake? Do you think any of Park’s films could be remade well in America?