'Ghost' Remake to Debut at TIFFCOM

First Japanese-language Production for Paramount

The Japanese-remake of the 1990 hit Ghost will screen publicly for the first time on Wednesday at TIFFCOM, a chance to show the potential for re-makes of U.S. films for the Asian marketplace and to encourage investment in productions in the region.

The screening is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Cinemart Roppongi.

Directed by Japan's Otani Taro, the film stars Korean actor Song Seung-heon (A Better Tomorrow) and Japanese actress Matsushima Nanako (Ring 2) in the roles first made famous by Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.

The Japanese-language film, which is co-produced by Paramount Pictures, CJ Entertainment and Nippon TV, represents a venture into local production for foreign companies like CJ and Paramount, who are trying to expand the Asian market through increasing local production.

The film is unusual in that many Hollywood remakes of Asian titles such as Ring have been released in North American theaters but not the other way around. CJ also is pushing to produce more local productions in Japan, as evidenced by the company's partnership with Japanese distribution giant T-Joy and the production of Japanese-language film Sayonara Itsuka, which was released in Japan earlier this year.

"It's a similar move as we did for the Chinese remake of What Women Want, said Kim Hee-jeon of the international sales division at CJ, who teamed up with China's Bona on the remake starring Gong Li and Andy Lau. "Ghost was an international hit, and the film's local production was natural given Japan's large film market."

For Paramount, Ghost is the first production of a Japanese-language film. 

Separately, the film was pre-sold to Taiwan's Catchplay at Pusan's Asian Film Market earlier this month.

Ghost is set for release in Japan on Nov. 13.