Charlize Theron Remaking Sympathy for Lady Vengeance?!

March 12, 2008

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

In all things remake news (we get enough of this that we could do a remake-a-day feature), the latest is that Charlize Theron is planning to remake Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. In an odd information-less announcement on (as originally pointed out by Bloody Disgusting), they mention that Theron is both producing and starring in a remake. As odd and shockingly revealing this announcement is, I'm not exactly immediately disgusted that they're doing a remake. Well, wait, yes I am - don't touch any of Park Chan-wook's classics!

Interestingly, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is one of the few Korean dramatic thriller classics that I'm very familiar with and would be angered to see remade. Well, not really angered, but there is no way that I could see a remake turning out even as remotely as good as the original. Part of my concern actually lies within Charlize Theron. Sure she's a fine actor, but she's going to bring that Hollywood A-list repertoire to the film and it's going to lose the finesse that Korean actress Lee Yeong-ae brought to Lee Geum-ja. There is really no way at all that a remake could turn out any better, so why even do it to begin with?

If you're unfamiliar with the film, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is a 2005 Korean thriller directed by Park Chan-wook. After a 13-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a 6 year old boy, beautiful Lee Guem-ja starts seeking revenge on the man that was really responsible for the boy's death. With the help of fellow inmates and reunited with her daughter, she gets closer and closer to her goal. Lady Vengeance is the third in Park Chan-wook's trifecta of revenge films, with Old Boy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance being the others.

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Nooo! There is no need for remakes, especially not of movies that were released fairly recently. Why can't you Americans (I'm generalizing, I know..) start watching foreign films with subtitles? There are bound to be a few good screenplays that have not been filmed yet. Remakes are a lazy excuse to make money in my opinion.

Andreas on Mar 12, 2008


Jeez! Why do they keep making foreign move adaptations? I'd rather just watch the originals. See, that's what the little button marked "subtitle" is for on your remote...Oh, I forgot. No one likes to read anymore.

jason_md2020 on Mar 12, 2008


This time is really unnecesary, the original is perfect, why a remake?

Hermond on Mar 12, 2008


Really really unnecessary. Charlize should just go and write a similar script or something if she liked it that much. Why remake it? That would be like having a Thai remake of No Country For Old Men come out next year or something.'s not that I'm hating on Thai people, I'm just trying to emphasize how unnecessary it would be. Oh and by the way, I liked Lady Vengeance more than Old Boy. The crudeness of Old Boy was just too much to bear at times.

Alfredo on Mar 12, 2008


well, this is the worst news I've heard all day. i hate Charlize Theron, love this film, it's gonna be a huge waste of time.

joe H on Mar 12, 2008


I wonder if people thought the same about Leonardo and Infernal Affairs (i.e. being remaked with him in the departed)

Billy on Mar 12, 2008


I felt the same way about Departed. So much so that I have avoided seeing it despite all the praise it has received. I'm quite willing to admit that it is a really good film but it's efforts should have been spent on something original.

pickle on Mar 13, 2008


I used to be like all of you and despised the idea of these remakes and then I realized that the only people it bothers are the people who go out of their way to see these great movies. That accounts for approximately .05% of the population in North America. The remake will help the original get some publicity and more people will see it whether or not the remake is good or bad. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance did open up in North America and it made something like $250,000 (don't quote me on that). Before the Departed came out I had to track down the Infernal Affairs trilogy. Now I can find it in the big box stores. Don't confuse a remake as being a replacement.

John A. on Mar 13, 2008


I have enough faith in Theron that I am not going to completely bash it for now.

Ryan on Mar 13, 2008


You know who would make a great Mr. Baek in remake? Gary Oldman. He and Min-sik Choi are actually very similar actors.

Edward on Mar 14, 2008


Just add it to the list of perfectly good foreign films to be butchered by Hollywood due to the lack of ingenuity from American film makers, especially from the Asian film market. Please keep your hands off of these classics.

scott on Mar 16, 2008


"You know who would make a great Mr. Baek in remake? Gary Oldman. He and Min-sik Choi are actually very similar actors. Edward on Mar 14, 2008" That could be one of the saving graces. Either way, I'm dreading this.

Rahat on Mar 18, 2008


A remake is completely unneccessary. Surely the point of them is to bring them up to date? The original was released in 2005 what is there to update?! The film is a classic, Americans need to deal with reading subtitles and actually enjoy the film in all its glory instead of dumbing it down like they do with everything.

Clara on Apr 3, 2008


i completely agree. i hate the american remakes that come out. their obvious point is to steal a great idea and make a quick buck. the actors, actresses and story are never as good as the first. i agree, whats the point of a terrible remake? sadly most people dont know nor care that its a remake so they see it anyways, giving it a huge box office release. charlize theron didnt work hard creating a script, so why should she reap the benefits? im insulted for the director. its such a cheap steal. to remake a film only a couple years after its been made? do americans not like to read subtitles? do producers really think we dont? i hate to see another great asian film butchered by an over acting blone. do we really need a crying blond in order to see a film?

katy on Apr 18, 2008


On RottenTomatoes, Theron is quoted as saying: "[Park Chan-Wook] 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." But she also said: "[Park Chan-Wook] made an almost perfect film." Exactly! So why remake it if you have no chance of making a better or even equally good film? Well... because no matter how great a foreign film is, it's like pulling teeth to get the average American to watch anything with subtitles, and even then, cultural differences or bad translations might make some things unclear. Producers and directors in hollywood are obviously trying to make money, but sometimes they really just want to get a great story in front of more American eyes. Quentin Tarantino tried a different angle - cleaning up and re-dubbing the audio for Iron Monkey - but that wasn't particularly successful, so for bad or for worse, the remakes will continue. Lee Young-ae took on the role as something completely different from her usual roles, and I think that's part of what makes Lady Vengeance a great film. Charlize Theron already has a dark edge in many of her roles, so I think it would be better to cast someone without the edgy reputation - Rachel Weisz, maybe? If nothing else, I think her eyes would fit the role a lot better than Charlize's. If Park Chan-wook wants it to happen, I'm all for it - it's his baby, after all. If it's half as good as the original, it should sell like hotcakes in the US. But for those of us who have seen the original, there's absolutely no reason to ever see the remake.

Matt on May 15, 2008


I'm pissed off that I'm going to have to see it in theaters opening night. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is tied for my favourite movie (with Pulp Fiction) and although I'm not to familiar with Theron's acting skills, I am 1000% sure that she can't be as good as Lee Yeoung-ae who, only after seeing her in this movie, has become a favourite. I just hope that the remake is at least good enough for me to get people to see the real Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.

Griffin on Jun 11, 2008


Seriously... leave Park Chan Woo Classics alone.... Fucking Remakes such as these are why the world view the Americans Film as no talent. A bunch of fucking of copy cats.

JB on Jun 29, 2008


idk, it could b a good thing bcuz its a great story. jsut dont hate on it so you can feel special for seeing the original. im suprisied they arent remaking oldboy to b honest. the only reason its silly to remake is solely bcuz it came out liek three yrs ago. oh... and americans can read, they just dont kno about a movie that came out thousands of miles away. the vengance trilogy dosent have that much exposure. the only reason any of us kno about it is bcuz of oldboy.

ssmith on Jul 10, 2008


The inherent problem with Hollywood remakes is that they reinforce American ignorance of other countries films and cultures. Why must we receive everything in English, revolving around us? Plus, this film, just like Oldboy won't translate into American culture. It is inherently Korean. Even if American's see a subtitled version of Lady Vengence, I can guarantee that they won't "get it." At least not everything, because there are too many subtleties that exist in language and culture. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Other countries are loaded down with our culture, its about time that changed.

Beth on Nov 11, 2008


OMG...Leave Park's master piece movies alone! Why does Hollywood try to remake all of his films... I know Charlize Theron is a good actress but i don't think she can possibly handle this charicter.. I shocked when I first saw Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Could she make American audiences feel this kind of feeling...? I don't think so...

susan on Jun 27, 2009


I am so sick of the Lame Attempts. Americans need to stop making these sad remakes. They don't even come close to the Original Feature... Sorry about that but not happy with this at all. Joey (an American)

Joey on Jul 6, 2009


"im suprisied they arent remaking oldboy to b honest" Actually they're doing remake of this too xD lol guess who? Will "uhh hell naw" Smith teamed up with Steven Spielberg wahahahaha

snowmon on Jul 16, 2009


Don't really understand what that remake discussion is all about. The original version will always be there for people to watch and appreciate. I agree the original movie will get more publicity after the Hollywood version came out. Besides, in my opinion Charlize Theron is one of the best Hollywood actresses. She has depth to her. I'm pretty sure she will deliver smashing performance. But let's see, I'm actually quite curious how the movie comes out at the end.

Sergei on Dec 9, 2009


The Hollywood remake of the Japanese neo-Classic, "Shall We Dance" was a travesty. These Studio moguls need to drawn and quartered. Oh wait, that would make a great movie!! Come on Hollywood, do it for the populace and make "Reality" type movies of your Studio Heads going down in a pile of gore!! Or something like that...

Memo Juez on Sep 3, 2010


So angry. Grrrrrrrrr no. /ragequit.

Pixie101 on Sep 6, 2011

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