Park Chan-wook's Vampire Film Thirst Gets Extra US Funding
by Alex Billington
September 11, 2008
Park Chan-wook, the Korean director known for the Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance trilogy, is hard at work on his next film, a vampire flick titled Thirst. Focus Features and Universal have announced today that they will finance and distribute the film, making this the first time that Chan-wook has actually ever received US funding. The story in Thirst surrounds a priest who participates in a medical experiment to find a cure for a deadly disease with traumatic repercussions - which we can only assume have something to do with vampires. The film is currently shooting and is expected to be ready by mid-2009, where it'll most likely hit film festivals before arriving in theaters.
"First, this is a vote of confidence in CJ and director Park, but also having a film of this scale get the backing of a major studio in North America opens up an opportunity for all Korean films," said Katharine Kim of CJ Entertainment, the Korean production company currently developing the film. "Park Chan-wook is one of the most talented and influential Korean directors working today." If anyone has ever seen Oldboy or Lady Vengeance, they'll know that certainly is true. I might even be so bold as to call Park Chan-wook a visionary. I've been anxious to hear about his next project, since the sci-fi comedy I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK never really hit it big and I've been hoping he'd go back to the more dark and intense world again.
Thirst stars Song Kang-ho (from The Host and The Good the Bad and the Weird), Shin Ha-kyun (from Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance), and Kim Ok-bi (from Dasepo Naughty Girls) as the leading lady. It's apparently being pitched as a love story with horror and drama. I never actually saw I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK, so I can't say whether or not that was good, but I'm a fan of Chan-wook's other films and I'm actually quite interested in Thirst. The fact that a big Hollywood studio is investing in it means that this is probably pretty damn good. I've written about the vampire trend before, which I don't really have a problem with, but it seems like Thirst will be one of the most original takes. Interested?
The vampire movies are a bit played out for me...it sounds like it could be interesting, and of course the director rocks so I will see it!
Kyle A. Koyote on Sep 12, 2008
I'm a Cyborg was actually pretty good, certainly worth seeing but obviously not as good as either Oldboy or Lady Vengeance. Park is an amazing director though so I'm always intrigued to see what he comes up with.
Andreas on Sep 12, 2008
I second the notion that you must check out I'M A CYBORG. Very cute film with a color palate that should only exist in candy. I have a review of it on my website.
Ryan Midnight on Sep 12, 2008
The Host is my favorite foreign film at the moment so I'll definitely be checking this out...I hope it follows the Interview with a Vampire formula more than the Underworld formula though ( not that Underworld was bad, but I just want a more dramatic vampire movie without the cheap action and scares we've seen before).
Peloquin on Sep 12, 2008
I just saw Oldboy last month. It'll probably be on my list of the best films I see this year. Chan-wook gets a free pass from me for one automatic viewing of whatever he releases. This is just an added bonus, a movie that actually sounds like it'll be good! twitchfilm.net just did a write-up on this too. Between FS.net and TF.net, I'm a happy camper. And vampires don't mess with campers.
kevjohn on Sep 12, 2008
p.s. This will be yet another film to show Twilight how vampire flicks are supposed to be done!
kevjohn on Sep 12, 2008
I have seen my share of Vampire films and I will say that i've not seem them all. Some I think are not worth seeing in order to see what not to be done. I have seen Parks films as well. Not all of them but Oldboy being my favorite I can say that i'm putting Thirst on my list of 'Must See' films. I have been studying the Vampire films over the last 20 years to see what works, what doesn't work and what should never be done again. So I hope to see this film visionary and mastermind at work.
Darren on Sep 13, 2008
Have you ever seen a movie Named Thirst that Vampires draining thier blood and Bottling it!
Ron Holmes on Jan 4, 2009
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