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Park Chan-wook to Remake THE AX and Discusses STOKER

Movie by Joey Paur

Oldboy director Park Chan-wook is currently in the process of directing his first American feature film called Stoker. The film was scripted by Prison Break's Wentworth Miller, and has a great cast of actors that includes Nicole Kidman, Dermot Mulroney, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Lucas Till, Jacki Weaver, Alden Ehrenreich and Phyllis Somerville.

Now it looks like the director has his next project lined up. In a recent interview the director revealed that the next film he takes on will be a remake of Costa-Gavras‘ 2005 film Le Couperet, also known as The Ax. This was actually the movie he was going to make before Stoker came along. The original movie followed “a chemist, who loses his job to outsourcing. Two years later and still jobless, he hits on a solution: to genuinely eliminate his competition.” Here's what Chan-wook had to say when he was asked what his next project would be,

I was planning to make another film, The Axe, before I started shooting Stoker. But while I was still seeking investors for that film, I received the screenplay for Stoker. So The Axe will be my next work, though I need to do some more work on the casting and attracting investors. I’m also thinking about making a historical film, but I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do that. 

I've never seen the original film, but Chan-wook obviously knows that this is a great project for him. It seems like the kind of story where his style and talents will shine like the burning sun. In the same interview the filmmaker also talks about Stoker, and here's a few things that he had to say...

On the films plot:

The story revolves around a father, mother and adolescent daughter who live in an isolated house in a suburb. But all is not well in the family and there is friction between the mother and daughter. One day, the father dies suddenly in a car accident, and the story starts when an estranged uncle shows up at the father’s funeral. While staying with the family, the uncle becomes involved in a love triangle with both the mother and daughter.

On why he chose to make the film:

I’d reviewed a lot of screenplays, especially a lot of the revenge films. But I limited my selections to Westerns, sci-fi films, psychological thrillers and spy movies. “Stoker” attracted my attention because it only has three main characters and the whole story unfolds in a house, which is a very confined space. I like telling big stories through small, artificially created worlds. Also, there was less pressure on me because the scale of the film isn’t that big. Besides, I thought it wouldn’t be bad to make my English-language debut with a scenario influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, because it was Hitchcock’s film “Vertigo” [1958] that made me decide to become a director.

On the certain expectations people have for Stoker based on his previous films:

Those are natural expectations for people to have, considering my previous films. I think that revenge, which is usually an element in my films, is essential for various kinds of films, whether they be thrillers, mysteries or films with violence. But I’m not a violent or angry person like the people in my films are and those are emotions I’m actually afraid to express. Maybe that’s why I often deal with those subjects in my films.

I've enjoyed watching all of Chan-wook's films, and I'm looking forward to seeing how his upcoming films Stoker and The Ax turn out! What's your favorite Chan-wook movie... that isn't Oldboy?

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