Remake to have strong North American flavor

LONDON — Samuel Hadida’s Paris-based Davis Films has picked up English-language remake rights to Korean horror flick “Bunshinsaba — Ouija Board,” which will be renamed “The Spell.”

Hadida grabbed the rights in a deal with Mirovision, the Korean boutique that handled the film in foreign territories. The deal is understood to be an option with further payments likely to be linked to the start of principal photography and the budget of the retread.

The original, directed by Ahn Byeong-gi (“The Phone”), is a chiller about a schoolgirl who has the power to make her enemies commit suicide.

Unlike Asian remake hit “The Grudge,” Hadida intends to give his picture a strongly North American flavor and target teen auds.

“This is not about giving a Korean director first shot at an English-language movie. We see this as having franchise potential, a bit like ‘Buffy’ set in a high school and to cast an attractive group of new 18- to 22-year-old actors,” Hadida said. “Davis will finance and produce although we already have interest from two or three studios.”

Mirovision topper Jason Chae said: “By going with an independent like Sammy rather than a studio this is a new kind of remake deal for us. We hope it to be quicker and more effective.”

Hadida is now in discussions with potential scripters and directors and expects to roll the cameras by early to mid-2006, using locations in either the U.S. or Canada.

The deal was facilitated by former-Mirovision staffer Cassie Yoo, through her Los Angeles-based .40 Caliber Films, and ex-Maverick Films executive Eric Thompson, who is producing a remake of “The Phone” for Maverick and Rogue Pictures.

Hadida and Davis Films are in production on the videogame adaptation of “Silent Hill,” now shooting in Toronto under helmer Christophe Gans, and are also preparing the release of Tony Scott’s “Domino,” which Hadida also produced.

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