‘Oldboy’: Park Chan-wook’s Classic to Get U.S. Theatrical Release on 20th Anniversary!!

It’s been nearly 20 years since the release of Park Chan-wook‘s South Korean action masterpiece Oldboy and Neon plans to celebrate. Before the classic 2003 film hits its big milestone, the indie distributor acquired its domestic rights for a theatrical anniversary release. No date is set for its theater run which should come next year.

As the second part of Park‘s Vengeance Trilogy which also included Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Lady Vengeance, Oldboy stands out as a gritty noir action feature that follows a normal businessman who inadvertently gets caught up in a wide-reaching conspiracy. Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is kidnapped and imprisoned one day, only to be released 15 years later with the goal of finding his captor and ensuring his daughter is safe. What follows is a dark, disturbing, and twist-filled film that follows Oh in his pursuit all while getting caught up in a whirlwind romance with the woman that took him in, Mi-do (Kang Hye-jung). The film is relentlessly brutal in its action too with the highlight being its now infamous corridor fight scene.

Park co-wrote the screenplay with Hwang Jo-yun and Lim Joon-hyung. Following its release, it became a staple of the South Korean film industry and easily one of the most acclaimed live-action manga adaptations ever released. It came away from the 2004 Cannes Film Festival winning the Grand Prix and earning the praise of film critics everywhere. Even among Park‘s acclaimed catalog, it remains one of his most beloved films and became the inspiration for a 2013 adaptation from director Spike Lee starring Josh Brolin. It left a stylized imprint on the action genre that can still be felt on films like the John Wick franchise to this day.

Oldboy is the latest in a line of anniversary and legacy re-releases, including the classic shark film Jaws and Francis Ford Coppola‘s masterpiece The Godfather. The decision to re-release Oldboy also comes at a perfect time in Park‘s career as he debuted his most recent film Decision to Leave at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, earning him a win for Best Director and a nomination for the Palm d’Or. It’s the 11th feature film of the director’s storied career and is expected to receive some Oscar buzz next year as South Korea’s submission for the 2023 awards, proving his storytelling is just as sharp as ever.

Currently, there’s no word on when the Oldboy re-release is coming. For now, check out the classic trailer below:


via Collider


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