Park Chan-wook Sets His Sights on a Passion Project as Legendary Director Wraps Up His Partnership With Robert Downey Jr. in ‘The Sympathizer’

South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook is gearing up to start production on remake of Cosa Gavras' French horror movie; The Ax.

Park Chan-wook Sets His Sights on a Passion Project as Legendary Director Wraps Up His Partnership With Robert Downey Jr. in ‘The Sympathizer’


  • Park Chan-wook will start production on The Ax in the fall of 2024.
  • The South Korean actor shared with Costa Gavras back in 2019 that he is going to make The Ax as his masterpiece.
  • Park Chan-wook has only praises for Marvel actor Robert Downey Jr.
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South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook is regarded as one of the most prominent filmmakers in South Korean cinema and in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Chan-wook’s work has garnered attention for its cinematography, framing, black humor, and brutal themes.


Park Chan-wook directed, co-wrote, and produced 2022’s critically acclaimed South Korean neo-noir romantic mystery movie Decision to Leave, starring Tang Wei and Park Hae-II. The movie was named one of the top five international movies in 2022 by the National Board of Review and was selected as a South Korean entry for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards. The brilliant filmmaker Park Chan-wook is reportedly working on his passion project after he recently collaborated with a Marvel actor.

Park Chan-wook's Decision to Leave
Tang Wei and Park Hae-II in Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave

Park Chan-wook to start production on his ‘lifelong passion project’ in fall of 2024

According to World of Reel, after the massive success of Decision to Leave, South Korea’s prominent filmmaker Park Chan-wook is currently working on his passion project. Korean media has reported that the movie is called The Ax and is a remake of Costa-Gavras’ 2005 French horror movie of the same name.


It was shared by the publication that the filmmaker has been trying to remake Costa Gavras’ French movie; The Ax for many years, and he has finally gotten the chance to do so. Actors Lee Byung Hun and Son Ye Jin are in talks to play the lead, but according to Naver, nothing can be confirmed as of now.

Park Chan-wook's Oldboy
Park Chan-wook is widely popular for his masterpieces including Oldboy

Chan-wook, who is widely known for his masterpieces Oldboy, The Handmaiden, and Lady Vengeance, will start production on The Ax in the fall of 2024. In an interview with Deadline, he explained the storyline for the movie.

“It’s a truly heartbreaking story about a middle-aged man who lost a job, and now he needs to bring bread to the table to feed his family. So, he struggles in the process of looking for a job in a specialized field, and he becomes a serial killer.”

Back in 2019, at the Busan International Film Festival, the filmmaker shared (via Variety) during an open conversation with Costa Gavras that it’s his lifelong dream to make The Ax. He said he wishes to make the movie his masterpiece.


Costa Gavras also shared at the time that he had watched all the movies of Park Chan-wook, and it astounded him how one director could express distinct sensibilities, opinions, and creativity in his work. He also expressed his excitement for the upcoming project, adding that he has faith in Chan-wook’s talent. Gavras mentioned that he was happy to know that Chan-wook was going to remake his movie and assured that he was going to help him as much as he could from France.

Park Chan-wook praises Marvel star Robert Downey Jr.

Park Chan-wook collaborated with Robert Downey Jr. on the post-Vietnam War drama series The Sympathizer for HBO and A24. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name bases the highly anticipated series.

Park Chan-wook collaborated with Robert Downey Jr. on The Sympathizer
Robert Downey Jr. will appear in Park Chan-wook’s The Sympathizer

Talking about the upcoming project, the filmmaker at the BAFTA Tea Party in Beverley Hills spoke to THR and had nothing but kind words to share for the actor. He said,


“First of all, he is a very delightful and pleasant character with a personality that really lights up the entire set and makes everyone happy to be there and having such an enjoyable experience.”

Chan-wook continued his praise for Robert Downey Jr., adding that he remembers every single crew member and all the background actors. The filmmaker says that the actor is friendly with all of them and gives them a pat on the back after their performance. The South Korean director noted that the Marvel star is very encouraging to everyone.

The filmmaker mentioned during the interview that with every take, Robert Downey Jr. improvises dialogues that are incredibly witty and stems from something deep in the character itself.

The Sympathizer is scheduled for release on April 14, 2024.


Decision to Leave is available to stream on MUBI.


Written by Avneet Ahluwalia

Articles Published: 169

Avneet is a Creative Writer at Fandom Wire with six years of professional expertise as a writer with artistic flair. Avneet combines her years of experience, love of the entertainment industry, and understanding of the expressive capabilities of words into her work.

In addition to her love of Pop Culture including celebrities, TV series, K-dramas, and K-pop, Avneet also prefers to read novels (hard copies), engage in discussions on anything at all, and take in what she sees and hears of those around her.

Avneet's writing style evolved over the years, from writing for beauty pageants to drafting true stories to writing stories about celebrities, television series, and movies. Despite this, she remains committed to discovering something new every day. Avneet believes that her writing will influence the readers since she strives to learn and grow with every piece of writing.

PS: She will never give up on persuading people to read "Normal People" by Sally Rooney.