Onetime movie journalist-turned filmmaker Chan-wook Park has brought a touch of operatic brutality to the vampire genre (Thirst) and quirk to the rom-com genre (I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK), but his signature work is generally considered that of his “Vengeance trilogy” – Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, and Oldboy, the latter of which is being translated into an American production from Spike Lee.
Park has likewise made the transition over to the States with the Hitchcockian tale Stoker, which arrives next March. He has either been circling or agreed to helm a couple of additional U.S. projects since wrapping production on Stoker, but it now appears that he may begin shooting the true-story gangster tale Corsica 72 first.
Corsica 72 made the Hollywood Black List of best un-produced scripts in 2009, but has yet to come together. Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall) and Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) were attached to direct at different times over the past three years, while people like Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans) circled the project prior to their days appearing in big-budget fare. Here is the official logline:
On the island of Corsica in 1972, childhood best friends Marco and Sauveur find their lives veering in opposite directions – the first towards the Mafia, the second toward a simpler life with his beloved, Lucia. When the Corsican mob kills Sauveur’s brother, they ignite a tit-for-tat blood feud that inevitably leads toward a final showdown.
Variety reports that Corsica 72 will be produced by the principals at 1984 Private Defense Contractors, the same studio behind The Grey, this fall’s Killing Them Softly, and the developing all-female riff on The Expendables. Corsica 72 sounds like a thoughtful, yet grisly, tale that fits right on the shelf alongside 1984’s other projects to date; moreover, as a tale flowing over with emotional conflict and bloodshed, it’s a project that is right up Park’s alley as a storyteller.
Corsica 72 was penned by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the duo whose James Bond scripts became increasingly grim after Pierce Brosnan’s The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day, going on to the Daniel Craig era with Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and this November’s Skyfall. Expect Corsica 72 to strike a tone close to Purvis and Wade’s scripts from the past decade (with the exception of Johnny English).
Meanwhile, Stoker could become another cult hit for Park, assuming his artistic sensibilities survived the trip through the Hollywood grinder. Making the transition to American filmmaking isn’t easy (as José Padilha is learning with the RoboCop remake), but there’s less pressure on Park to deliver a “safe” product with the inexpensive Stoker – and thus, a better chance it could pack as strong a punch as Park’s past work.
More on Corsica 72 as the story develops.