THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL: OLDBOY Director Turns His Attention to the Small Screen
We’re big fans of South Korean director Park Chan-wook here at Ghastly Grinning. Therefore, we welcome announcements of new projects, whatever they may be, with open arms. He’s a unique filmmaker whose movies are difficult to categorize, but they’re twisted, intelligent and impeccably crafted - once seen, never forgotten. Whether it’s his acclaimed trilogy of revenge movies - Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Lady Vengeance - oddball comedies (I’m a Cyborg), vampire love stories (Thirst), or stunning Gothics (Stoker, The Handmaiden), he’s demonstrated a knack for delivering deliciously dark gems with remarkable consistency.
So, it brings us great excitement to report that he’s about to make his first foray into television.
The news comes courtesy of The Daily Mail, who are reporting that the South Korean maverick has signed on to direct The Little Drummer Girl for the BBC. The six-episode series is based on John le Carre’s 1983 espionage novel of the same name, which tells the story of an actress tasked with infiltrating a Palestinian terrorist group. Lady MacBeth’s Florence Pugh is rumored to star in the lead role, though it’s yet to be officially confirmed.
The story was previously adapted in 1984 by George Roy Hill in a film starring Diane Keaton as the undercover agent. Unfortunately, it bombed at the box office and failed to capture the essence of the superior source material, which, like most of the le Carre’s books, is considered a classic of its genre. However, with a director at Chan-wook at the helm and the medium of television at his disposal, we expect the story to receive the quality screen treatment it deserves.
These days, television is the most cinematic it’s ever been, with shows like Game of Thrones and Master Robot; therefore, a director of Chan-wook’s ability being handed the reins to this project is enticing. Television affords him the opportunity to tell a longer, fleshed out story -- and one which should complement his capacity for delivering edge-of-the-seat thrills.
The BBC has already adapted a le Carre novel to high viewership and widespread critical acclaim with last year’s The Night Manager. An adaptation of his 1963 Cold War novel, The Spy Who Came from in the Cold, is also scheduled to air in the near future. The future looks promising for television spy thrillers, which is excitement as the good ones offer the same visceral thrills and chills as horror fare when it comes to tension-filled storytelling. Bring it on.