EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has emerged from a three-studio bidding battle with screen rights to remake the Korean crime film New World. The deal was mid six-figures and the film will be produced by Roy Lee and Dan Lin, with Jon Silk and John Powers Middleton exec producing. The script will be written by Will Fetters, who has been on fire at Warner Bros. He has scripted the Clint Eastwood-directed remake of A Star Is Born, as well as Crazy For The Storm for Sean Penn to direct, and he most recently rewrote the Nicholas Sparks novel The Best Of Me.
The original film was written and directed by Park Hoon-jung, who scripted I Saw The Devil and The Unjust. New World has parallels to The Departed, on which Lee was exec producer and Lin was development exec. After a mob boss is gunned down, an outright battle ensues among several mobsters who want to succeed him. One of them is an undercover cop. The pic just got released. READ MORE »
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Only a handful of new specialty movies opened during the early part of 2013, but spring has brought an onslaught of indies and foreign titles. The Weinstein Company opens the Cannes debut The Sapphires this weekend, while two titles from last year’s SXSW, Hunky Dory starring Minnie Driver and Gimme The Loot from Sundance Selects, bow in select locations. Thriller Come Out And Play makes its way to theaters after a very unconventional production. Paladin’s My Brother The Devil enjoyed the support of Sundance but faced riots during its filming in London. Entertainment One brings a French-Canadian comedy that has already landed an English-language remake deal, and Well Go USA will launch New World, hoping once again to capitalize on past successes with Korean thrillers.
Director: Wayne Blair
Writers: Tony Briggs, Keith Thompson
Cast: Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
TWC picked up the biographical comedy/drama ahead of its Cannes Film Festival premiere in the Official Selection last year, picking up U.S. rights and other territories for low seven figures. “It’s a really, really strong film with great performances,” said TWC president of theatrical distribution & home entertainment Erik Lomis. “Chris O Dowd is terrific”, said Lomis. Set against a backdrop of racial strife in Australia in the late ’60s, the film centers on four Australian Aboriginal girls who form a group and head out to entertain U.S. troops in Vietnam, escaping the tensions and limitations of their rural community. “It plays well to an audience and hopefully will crack the formula,” said Lomis. “It’s not a four-quadrant movie, but it’s has appeal across the spectrum. It’s an audience pleaser and it has scored through the roof.”
TWC tested the feature in New York and in the Midwest where Lomis said audiences in both regions responded well. “The trick is getting them in,” he noted. “We’re hoping word-of-mouth will propel its theatrical run.” The Sapphires will have a traditional first weekend opening in New York and LA, playing at two locations in each city before expanding.
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