Park Chan-Wook is one of the most exciting directors to come out of Asia in the last decade. The South Korean gave us highly original, shocking, visceral experiences like “Oldboy”, “Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance” and vampire thriller “Thirst”. There’s a certain unpredictability in his style that I find very engaging.
Park is now set to make his first English-language film in America, and it’s another vampire story. “Stoker” (as in Bram Stoker) is an alternative take on the Dracula mythos. Knowing Park, that probably means throwing all convention out the window, so don’t go expecting anything familiar. Except the vampire-y bits of course. He will have some very solid backing, as the project is being produced by Ridley and Tony Scott via their company Scott Free. Interestingly enough, Wentworth Miller, the star of TV’s “Prison Break” is writing the script. Under a pen name, Ted Foulke.
Variety today broke the news that the leading man has just been cast. Brit Matthew Goode (“Watchmen”) is the mysterious uncle of a young girl, India Stoker, played by Mia Wasikowska (“Alice In Wonderland”). Goode’s character shows up right after the death of the girl’s father. That’s when things start to get really spooky. Nicole Kidman has also joined the cast, in an as-yet unspecified role. It remains to be seen how Park will cope with directing in a language that’s all but foreign to him, in a land where the entire filmmaking process is ruled by process and protocol. It might take a little out of the man’s off-kilter approach, or he might thrive with the benefit of a much bigger budget and more technically proficient crew.