South Korea's CJ Secures Key Directors, Cast for Upcoming Hollywood Remakes

Miss Granny Still - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of CJ Entertainment

'Avatar' actor Joel Moore will direct the English version of thriller 'Hide and Seek,' and the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of 'Carol' will helm 'The Vanished' for U.S. audiences.

As CJ Entertainment continues to expand its slate of international projects, the South Korean giant has secured key filmmakers and cast members for upcoming Hollywood remakes of its regionally popular South Korean titles. The production and distribution powerhouse currently has about 10 titles underway for American audiences.

Actor-director Joel Moore is set to pen and direct the English version of crime thriller Hide and Seek, a spokesperson for CJ confirmed on Tuesday. Known for his role in Avatar, Moore directed several shorts before his 2016 feature Youth in Oregon, starring Billy Crudup and Christina Applegate. Phyllis Nagy, who received an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay with Todd Haynes’ Carol, has been tapped in as director of The Vanished, an omnibus drama based on a French novel co-authored by Lena Mauger and Stephane Remael.

South Korean genre films have been on the rise in recent years, particularly with thrillers being consecutively featured in such notable showcases as the Cannes Film Festival's midnight screening. Soon to debut stateside is an English rendition of the Korea-Vietnam co-produced horror thriller The Housemaid, based on a script penned by Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious).

Like Crazy director Drake Doremus will direct Aurora for CJ, with Salvador Paskowitz, who co-scripted The Age of Adaline, writing the script. Described as "a sweeping romantic drama with supernatural elements," the film follows a widower living alone in Iceland since his wife's death 25 years ago.

Sensitivity Training helmer Melisa Finell is overseeing script development of an English-language remake of smash-hit comedy Miss Granny. Tyler Perry Studios is producing the project, tailored for the African-American community. The 2014 family comedy is CJ's most successful franchise to date, having received multiple remakes across Asia, including in China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Popular Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez, who recently appeared opposite Salma Hayek and Kristen Bell in How to Be a Latin Lover, is set to appear in the Spanish-language version of the same franchise. 3Pas Studio is attaching other talent for the Spanish remake targeting Latin American communities.

Scripting is now complete for the U.S. versions of Sunny, to be co-produced by Brett Ratner's production arm Ratpac, and Hello Ghost. Both comedies and are now attaching key cast and crew.

Also now casting is Super Fan, a sports drama based on the true story of SungWoo Lee, a Korean-American who rose to fame as a super fan of the Kansas City Royals. Super Fan is being co-produced by Ivanhoe Pictures and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

CJ is developing another sports film, Sohn Kee-chung Project, based on the Korean marathon runner who won the gold medal for Japan at the 1936 Berlin Olympics when Korea was a Japanese colony.