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Screen Gems is in negotiations on a remake, a move made possible for the label since sister arm Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions picked up North American distribution rights to the film during the Cannes Film Festival. The initial deal called for Sony to have an exclusive negotiating period and right of refusal on a remake in its deal with XYZ Films, the makers of the original.
The movie was the only Midnight Madness flick that already had a distributor when it premiered at TIFF’s Midnight Madness, the late-night screening series that showcases genre flicks. The movie kicked off the series and was a sensation from the get-go, becoming one of the talks of the festival.
The movie tells the story of a SWAT team that becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster, armed with two highly violent martial arts killers and an army of machete-swinging, machine gun-toting dealers and thugs.
One of the buzz-generating aspect of the movie is the Indonesian fighting form called silat that were put into it by writer-director Gareth Evans, who just signed with Management 360.
How this unique aspect would be handled by a remake is not clear although Screen Gems is aware the unique fighting style is one of the movie’s strengths.
The company is hoping to tie down a filmmaker shortly though it will not be Evans, who opted out of repeating himself and will focus on making a sequel that he hopes to shoot in February
Screen Gems has tackled remakes of foreign films in the past, most successfully with Quarantine, a horror movie starring Jennifer Carpenter which was a remake of the Spanish scary movie Rec.
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Sterling K. Brown