Friday, March 14, 2008

Charlize Theron as the Kind-Hearted Geum-Ja

Charlize Theron is on the press junket for her new film Sleepwalkers, which opens here next week, but by far the most interesting bits coming out of the interviews are about her intention to produce and star in a remake of Park Chan-Wook's Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. My first response was an eye role that is invoked every time I hear news of another Asian film remake. But upon further investigation, it seems that Theron, and Park himself, have the best intentions. Check out this from an MTV interview:

MTV: Is it true you are going to produce and star in a remake of "Lady Vengeance"?
Theron: Yeah, I'm very excited about it. We're in the very early stages of developing it right now, but I'm a huge fan of director Park Chan-Wook. I really love that whole trilogy, but really love that last one.
MTV: He's got quite a style and a fervent following. It's going to be a tall order to remake that.
Theron: We're intimidated almost beyond belief. He made an almost perfect film. I wouldn't do it if it wasn't for him and his encouragement. He came to me and said he really wanted us to do this. He didn't want to direct it. He really wanted to see that story told in an American society. If he wasn't so encouraging, I don't think I could go through with it. It'll be a different director.

Wow. She's not just a fan, but "a huge fan" of Park Chan-Wook, and from the sounds of it, Park has the same curiosity as Micheal Hanake in the US test market. (No doubt, Charlize will provide a bigger draw in the US than Lee Young-Ae, who starred in the original.) I thought Sympathy for Lady Vengeance was a tour de force that stylishly capped off Park's trilogy, but many critics disagree, finding it a slicked-up, heavy-handed empty shell, and the weakest film in the trilogy (which included Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy.)

I suppose if anyone can pull off the role of the Kind-Hearted Geum-Ja, it would be Charlize Theron. Of coarse, who knows when this remake will see the light of day, and, let us not forget, the all important decision of director has yet to be made.

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