Oldboy’s Original Ending Wasn’t Even Half as Shocking

Oldboy’s Original Ending Wasn’t Even Half as Shocking
Image credit: Tartan Films

Park Chan-wook didn't like the ending of the original manga and agreed to do the movie without any idea how to change it.

Park Chan-wook's Oldboy celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year, having been released on November 21, 2003 and recently re-released in the United States in an updated 4K version.

The importance of the film is hard to underestimate, as it opened up Korean cinema to international audiences, garnered critical acclaim, won several prestigious awards, and achieved cult status over the years with countless fans around the world.

Oldboy also received an American remake of the same name in 2013, starring Josh Brolin, but it was a bland attempt to recreate the magic of the original and was panned by critics and fans alike.

The main twist of the original movie and its shocking ending is one you'll never forget after seeing it, so it's fascinating that it wasn't even in the original script.

Oldboy’s Original Ending Wasn’t Even Half as Shocking - image 1

According to IndieWire, when Park Chan-wook's producer gave him the original manga, he didn't like the finale, but agreed to make the movie anyway.

The villain's motivation was nothing like what we saw in the movie, and the whole incest aspect was completely absent from the story.

The director calls his decision to make the movie without a plan for how it would end "very reckless."

He is immensely happy that he managed to come up with the right idea at the last moment, otherwise Oldboy would have been a complete disaster instead of a masterpiece.

Two decades later, Park admits that today, after years of filmmaking experience, he would never have made such a gamble.

The risk paid off, however, as Oldboy's finale was so powerful that it continues to spark debate among fans.

Some of them admit that while they love the majority of the movie, the ending was the moment when they felt somewhat lost due to the sudden switch to almost body horror and over-the-top emotional scenes.

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Others say that, on the contrary, the final twist adds a whole new layer to the story, makes perfect sense, and that the movie wouldn't have been nearly as impactful without it.

Whatever your opinion on the final twist, the fact that Oldboy is still being discussed decades later speaks for itself, attracting new audiences and proving that its iconic status is well deserved.

Which side are you on regarding the ending of Oldboy?

Sources: IndieWire, Reddit