Charlize Theron Starring in American ‘Lady Vengeance’ Remake

Published 2 years ago by

sympathy lady vengeance remake Charlize Theron Starring in American Lady Vengeance Remake

If you’re a fan of foreign cinema, there is a good chance you’re familiar with Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy – and you understand why the news that Oldboy (arguably the trilogy’s most famous installment) is getting an American semi-remake from Spike Lee has prompted both outrage and interest. You can probably expect a similar mix of reactions across the board to the announcement that the third Vengeance flick, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (a.k.a. Lady Vengeance) is getting a similar treatment from Hollywood.

So, can an American re-interpretation of Lady Vengeance manage to be as stylish, gruesome and disturbing as Chan-wook’s original? Well, all things considered, it’s off to a solid start (in terms of the leading lady and screenwriter being brought onboard). Read on…

The Lady Vengeance press release from Annapurna Pictures (The Master, Killing Them Softly) reveals that Charlize Theron is going to produce and headline the film as “a woman who for reasons of her own completes a prison term for a murder she did not commit, reemerging to punish the killer, and avenge the dead.” Co-producers include Theron’s ex-assistant-turned-Denver & Delilah partner Beth Kono (who was also a co-producer on Chan-wook’s Lady Vengeance), AP’s Megan Ellison and Chelsea Barnard, CJ Entertainment’s Ted Kim (Love Lust) and Oscar-winner William Monahan (who is also writing the script).

Monahan, of course, snagged an Academy Award for penning Martin Scorsese’s The Departed (another American remake of an Asian cinema cult-classic). He recently worked on the screenplays for a remake of The Gambler and the sequel to Robert Rodriguez’ adaptation of Frank Miller’s Sin City graphic novel (which is fully-titled Sin City: A Dame to Kill For).

Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman1 Charlize Theron Starring in American Lady Vengeance Remake

Charlize Theron in ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’

Now, although responses to the Lady Sympathy remake announcement are indeed bound to be mixed, overall they should (emphasis on should) be less hostile than the general response to Lee’s Oldboy. For one, Monahan isn’t the lightning rod for controversy that Lee the filmmaker is; in fact, more people should be willing to give Monahan the benefit of the doubt right off the bat, when he says (re: his Lady Sympathy script):

“This will be very American – and very unexpected. Park is a genius; it’s the Everest of adaptations and I’ve got blood in my teeth to do it.”

Moreover, there’s no reason to question Theron’s ability to go dark and twisted after her performances in Monster (which landed her a Best Actress Oscar), Young Adult and Snow White and the Huntsman. The press release doesn’t clarify whether Monahan is just scripting the Lady Vengeance remake or serving as writer-director on the project, which admittedly leaves room for more skepticism – as Monahan’s directorial debut, London Boulevard, was not received as enthusiastically by the critical masses as his previous writing efforts (which include Body of Lies and Edge of Darkness).

oldboy remake Charlize Theron Starring in American Lady Vengeance Remake

Min-sik Choi in Chan-wook Park’s ‘Oldboy’

Lastly, the revenge plot of Lady Vengeance could conceivably be transformed into an American context, to the point where the story’s foreign origins become pretty much unrecognizable (as happened when Monahan turned Infernal Affairs into The Departed); again, that will depend on who ultimately signs up to direct, and what sort of artistic approach they take to re-fashioning the source material.

Of course, those who are big fans of Chan-wook’s original film – and have little to no interest in a remake of any kind – can always just ignore this project. You might even prefer to instead focus on anticipating the filmmaker’s upcoming Hollywood debut, Stoker.

Screen Rant will keep you posted on Sympathy for Lady Vengeance as the story develops.

Source: Annapurna Pictures

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Wow.. Theivery # 2 from Mr. park….. sigh….

  2. Whoa, this ones going to be tough to remake, but I actually welcome it! Americanized, the first half will be unrecognizable, but the second (more fun) half should be really great!!!
    I really want them to remake Mr Vengeance as well. If you’re going to do two, might as well do the full hat trick. Even though Oldboy is my favorite, I think Sympathy for Mr Vengeance is the best film of the three.

  3. As long as it keeps the non more black sense of humour from the original. Tonally the film was very close to ‘Fight Club’, bouncing along for the first two acts before dripping in tar for the third. The fact it’s Charlize pleases me. A remake starring an actress predominately knowing for fluff would have left me reaching for the vicodin.

  4. Chan-Wook’s best film!! Don’t f*** it up!

    • I LOVED Oldboy,and Thirst is pretty damn good to,Sympathy wasn’t very good at all,but if you are claiming that LV is his best movie,they I have to watch it just to see if you are BS’ing or not.

  5. I haven’t seen the original yet,but I guess it’s only a matter of time before then do a remake of Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance now,since two of the three Vengeance Trilogy movies will have been made.

  6. Seen the original some time ago. Interesting concept, especially on how it projected the story in a simple, straight forward manner which I think is the usual style in South Korean movies. No complaints here, I actually like it that way.

    If they “Americanize” this in such a way that the original will no longer be recognizable…hmm…will this still qualify as a “remake?” Maybe “inspired” would be the more appropriate tag.

  7. Lady Vengeance is my favorite out of the “Vengeance trilogy”, so of course I’m a bit wary about a remake. On the other hand, I can definitely see Charlize Theron play the title role and the original plot is pretty straight forward, so there’s less to screw up.
    I’m curious to see how it’ll work in an American setting and who will play the antagonist.

  8. Can I be the first on this comment board to say this news really ticks me off? I love Lady Vengeance and hated The Departed (Infernal Affairs deserved a better remake) so this news is just painful to hear. I’m willing to give the Oldboy remake a chance based on the strength of the actors involved but Lady Vengeance deserves better than this.

  9. Is Monahan gonna be the Korean-movie Whisperer?? I loved Park’s movies and it seems there’s nothing original in Hollywood these days. I love watching Korean, Taiwannese and Japanese movies on Netflix. Please don’t re-make the Zatoichi 2003 film with Takeshi Kitano. That’s a masterpiece!

    • Infernal Affairs wasn’t Korean though.

      Have you seen I’m a Cyborg but That’s Okay? I think that’s a Chan-wook film that’s safe from the remake treatment.

      • I’m A Cyborg, But It’s Okay… Is fantastic. Funnier and sweeter each time I watch it. I think an American version would give it a One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest sort of institutional feel (though I’m sure they’d calm down the quite hilarious massacre scenes).

        I’m not a Spike Lee fan, so I’m concerned that his style could kill Oldboy. Idk? Hollywood (America) has made some good remakes recently, and seem more willing to take risks on foreign material without completely dumbing or softening it down. Lady Vengeance remake actually excites me a bit. I think Park made it almost perfectly, but it feels like the story has more room for narrative and stylistic changes than a film like Oldboy.