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Hollywood Remake of 'JSA' in the Works

2005/05/13 | 907 views | Permalink | Source

By Lee Yong-sung
Staff Reporter

David H. Franzoni, the producer and screenwriter of the Academy Award-winning epic blockbuster "Gladiator", will make his film directorial debut with a remake of the hit 2000 Korean movie "JSA - Joint Security Area".

According to Thursday's issue of the Hollywood Reporter, an American daily magazine specialized in the entertainment industry, Franzoni has purchased the rights to adapt the film, but will modify its political and geographic setting to appeal to a wider audience.

Thus, the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, the setting for the original film, will be changed to the U.S.-Mexico border region, the daily reported.

The magazine also added that it is the first case of a copyright deal between an individual Hollywood film director and a Korean film production company. Previously, remake rights for Korean films were sold to U.S. studios through contacts between U.S. and Korean film companies.

So far the remake rights of over 10 Korean films have been purchased by U.S. film companies, including the comic action film "My Wife Is a Gangster" and melodrama "Il Mare (Siwolae)". The latter has been filming in Chicago since March, with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock cast in the main roles.

Originally made by acclaimed director Park Chan-wook, also well-known for his 2004 Cannes Grand Prix award-winning film, "Old Boy", "JSA" depicts the growing friendship between South and North Korean border guards and drew over 5 million people on its domestic release.

The film was also a hit in Japan upon its release in 2003, earning $10.8 million on ticket sales of 825,000.

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