Distant Horizon to produce horror film

HONG KONG — Hong Kong-based helmer Fruit Chan is to direct an English-language remake of Japanese horror “Don’t Look Up” (Joyuu-rei).

Pic is to be produced by South Africa’s Distant Horizon group in association with Japan’s Action 5.

Story features a film production in Transylvania which is tainted by an old piece of celluloid containing images of a woman’s murder. Distant Horizon topper Anant Singh said that “Don’t Look Up,” will shoot at the end of the year, with locations likely taking in studios in Romania and South Africa.

“I loved the original film by Hideo Nakata,” Chan told Variety. “And I was happy to take on the remake. For too long I’ve been labeled as an art-house director. I’m a director.” Pic will be the first in English-language for Chan, who previously directed “Made in Hong Kong” and most recently helmed the creepy “Dumplings.”

Singh and Distant Horizon’s Brian Cox will produce, along with Yoko Asakura of Action 5. Pic will also be presented at upcoming PPP project mart in Pusan where further financiers may be brought on board.

The remake rights were bought from WoWow-subsidiary Suncent Cinema Works in 2003 and Distant Horizon previously sought Nakata to remake his own film. “Joyuu-Rei” was produced in 1996 by Bandai Visual, with Bitters End and WoWow.

Separately, Distant Horizon has hired scripters Eddie and Chris Borey (“Open Grave”) for the company’s revival of “Fu Manchu,” which it announced earlier this year at Cannes. “Fu Manchu” will be produced by Singh and Cox with Harry Alan Towers and Maria Rohm, who were key figures in the 1960s “Fu Manchu” film series starring Christopher Lee.

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