pop culture imports

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best, wackiest, and weirdest foreign-language movies and TV shows streaming right now.)

We’re midway through October, so you’re probably expecting some foreign horror flicks in this week’s Pop Culture Imports. And you’ll get them in time, but for now, let me indulge you in some French dramas. They’re more interesting than they sound! Two of the said dramas are from electric French filmmaker Jacques Audiard, the director behind the searing prison drama Un prophète, while another features a stunning tour-de-force from Charlotte Rampling. But if you want to avoid all that French ennui, there’s also Park Chan-wook’s vicious Vengeance Trilogy and an Indian millennial comedy series.

Let’s fire up the subtitles and get streaming.

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Hany Abu-Assad, whose 2006 film Paradise Now was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, and who just won the Jury Prize at Cannes this year for his new effort, Omar, will be the latest to attempt a remake of Park Chan-Wook‘s first “vengeance” film, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.

The remake rights have been in the hands of a few companies over the past decade. Earlier this year a partnership between Silver Reel, Lotus Entertainment, di Bonaventura Pictures and CJ Entertainment set a new effort in motion, and it seems like the Brian Tucker (Broken City) script, commissioned by Warner Bros. in 2010, may still be in play. With a director on board, the next steps include casting, and actually getting the money together to make it happen. Read More »


The three thematically-related films in Park Chan-Wook‘s so-called Vengeance Trilogy helped the director gain worldwide attention. The series’ middle chapter, Oldboy, is the film that really elevated Park’s status, and it has already been remade. (Spike Lee’s version of Oldboy opens in October.) The third “Vengeance” film, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, has also been optioned for a remake, with Charlize Theron producing and possibly starring as a woman who enacts a complex, patient plan to exact revenge.

But the first film in the loose trilogy, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, has so far escaped remake efforts. Now Silver Reel and Lotus Entertainment have partnered with di Bonaventura Pictures and CJ Entertainment to make an English-language version. There is an extensive set of producers on the film, but no writer, director, or cast at this point. The key person to pay attention to might be di Bonaventura, who is a producer on the Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Red film series.

The original film followed a deaf-mute factory worker who goes to extreme lengths to help his sister attain a kidney transplant, and who is drawn into a complex web of crime and revenge plots as a result. Deadline says the remake follows ” two men who are bound by their common sense of loss and headed on a collision course of revenge,” which could certainly describe the original plot. Some details will almost certainly change, however.

After the break, details emerge about the Poltergeist remake that will be directed by Gil Kenan (Monster House), and there’s a shred of info about the possible Seven Samurai remake. Read More »


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.

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