To think it’s been over seven years since the Asian horror craze entered this writer’s home. During the time, one of my favorite (and probably one of the last descent) films to arise out of the midst of the frenzy was Ahn Byung-ki’s Korean horror film Phone, which is now the latest to go under the knife to transform into a US remake thanks to Imprint Entertainment (Twilight, The Stepfather). Read all about it inside.
After sitting in development hell over at Rogue Pictures (Universal) for nearly three years, Seoul-based sales agent Mirovision has announced that it is teaming with LA-based Imprint Entertainment, which has credits including Twilight, to co-produce a US remake of Ahn Byung-ki’s Korean horror film “Phone,” reports Screen Daily.
“Phone” centers on a reporter who changes her cell phone number after publishing a controversial article that results in death threats. But when a friend’s daughter answers the new phone and exhibits increasingly bizarre behavior, the reporter begins to investigate a mysterious string of deaths that have haunted her phone number’s previous owners.
The film clocked up 2.2 million admissions on its local release in 2002 after a world premiere at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan).
Mirovision says it is excited because this co-production remake deal follows in the footsteps of successful remakes of Asian films such as “The Ring” and “The Grudge”. The director of the original is attached to direct the remake, and the film looks set to shoot on location in Korea.
Ahn will also be credited as producer alongside Mirovision CEO Jason Chae and Imprint producer Mark Morgan.
The remake’s English-language script is in the final stages of completion and Mirovision says it expects to start production as early as the latter half of this year.
The producers are currently in LA discussing casting and distribution, with an aim to release the film in the summer of 2010.
On the heels of the success of teen vampire romance Twilight, Imprint is also producing sequels New Moon and Eclipse. The company previously co-produced Andrew Christopher Erin’s thriller Sam’s Lake with Mirovision.
Seoul Film Commission has invited Morgan and the other producers to discuss details and tour locations, while Mirovision has announced an official press conference for April 29 at their Mirospace theater.
The companies plan to launch publicity for the Phone remake at the upcoming Cannes market.
The original Phone was previously picked up by several companies including Italy’s Eagle Pictures and France’s Metropolitan Filmexport. Buena Vista International handled the film in Japan where it had a 250-print release and grossed $1.2m after three weeks.