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Old Boy Publisher Sues Korean Studio Over U.S. Film Rights

posted on by Egan Loo
Futabasha asserts that Show East nullified their contract by pushing for remake

Futabasha, the Japanese publisher of Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi's Old Boy manga, is suing the Korean film production company Show East over the rights to remake the story into a Hollywood film. In the story, a man who was imprisoned for over a decade hunts down his mysterious former kidnappers to take revenge. Show East had produced the popular, critically acclaimed 2003 Korean film version that Chan-wook Park directed. The lawsuit was revealed at the Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday, although the lawsuit was actually filed on Monday.

Futabasha is suing to confirm the lack of a binding contract between the two parties, due to an alleged breach. Futabasha asserts that Show East violated its basic agreement with Futabasha, and thus nullified it, when Show East pushed for the production of a film remake with America's Universal Pictures. Show East signed its contract with Futabasha over film rights in September of 2002, and signed a second contract in December of 2003 that amended the original one to cover other materials.

3 million people saw Park's Oldboy film in South Korea. The Variety entertainment trade news source reported last November that director Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws) and action star Will Smith (Independence Day, I Am Legend, Men in Black) were discussing a possible collaboration to remake the film. However, later that same month, Smith told the Film School Rejects website that Spielberg's team was adapting the original Old Boy manga, and not remaking Park's film version.

Dark Horse Comics published the manga in North America from 2006 to 2007, and the manga won an Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Japan in 2007.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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