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“Scott Free Production has reached out to us for a remake of The Wailing and we are in the early stages of discussing the project,” said Kim Ho-sung, head of Fox International Productions Korea.
Kim added that he strongly recommended that the film’s director Na Hong Jin also helm the Hollywood remake. “The Wailing has a strong Korean color that is rather difficult to replace with Western cultural elements, religious views and sentiments. And so, I’ve told the production team that Na Hong Jin is probably the only one capable of remaking the film,” he said. “The production company told me they would explore the possibility with an open mind.”
Kim explained that he had initially turned down the offer, due to doubts about how the film’s strong traditional Korean elements would translate into an English-language version. Written and directed by Na, The Wailing is about a chain of horrific deaths that occur in a rural Korean village following the arrival of a stranger. A local cop risks his life to save his daughter from suffering the same fate, and the film has been noted for merging themes of Korean shamanism, Catholic exorcism and the Western zombie genre.
The film made its international debut at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and was pre-old to multiple territories, receiving a limited release in the U.S. via Well Go USA Entertainment. It recorded the biggest opening for a Fox film in the Korean box office and went on to become one of 2016’s biggest films with a cume $48.6 million (6.9 million admissions).
If Na is signed on, the remake would be his first foreign project and he would be the second Korean director to work with Scott Free Productions. The company headed by Ridley Scott has previously produced Stoker, the English-language debut of Oldboy helmer Park Chan-wook, starring Nicole Kidman.
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