Warners picks up 'Sticks' remake rights

3:43 PM PST 05/19/2008 by Borys Kit, AP

Overbrook, Will Smith to redo French blockbuster

France's biggest movie is getting the American treatment courtesy of Will Smith. Warner Bros. has picked up the film rights option to remake "Welcome to the Sticks" (Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis) with Smith's Overbrook Entertainment to produce.

The original "Sticks," starring Kad Merad and director/co-writer Dany Boon, follows a postal employee from the sunny south of France who gets an unwanted transfer to the rain-soaked north, known as "the sticks," where he eventually is won over by the locals' warm-hearted ways and impenetrable dialect.

Produced and distributed by Pathe, "Sticks" opened in February and has gone on to break boxoffice records in France. It has grossed more than $180 million and is poised to overtake "Titanic" in the coming weeks to become the highest-grossing movie ever released in the country.

Warners optioned the rights from Pathe International.

James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz and Smith will produce for Overbrook with Agnes Mentre. Lynn Harris will oversee for Warners.
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