Studio picks up rights to South Korean hit

Warner Bros. has picked up remake rights to South Korea’s surprise hit “The Chaser,” and already the project is taking on the aura of the studio’s last major Asian remake hit, “The Departed.”

Early discussions are underway for William Monahan to write the script, with Leonardo DiCaprio circling to star, but no deals have yet been set.

Monahan won an Oscar for “The Departed.”

Dan Lin, Doug Davison, Roy Lee and Monahan will be producers, with DiCaprio possibly ending up in some producing capacity as well.

Studio bought the project from Na Hong-jin, in a deal that was announced in Seoul on Thursday. WB paid $1 million plus various incentives based on the remake’s box office performance. Kim Su-jin, head of production house Bidangil Pictures, will also receive a co-production credit.

The mid-budget thriller has earned more than $20 million in 20 days of release.

Pic is based loosely on the exploits of a real-life serial killer, played by Ha Jung-woo (“Never Forever”).

Suh Youngjoo’s new sales company Fine Cut unveiled the film at a private screening at Berlin’s European Film Market in February and subsequently arranged a screening in Los Angeles.

Sales deals have already been clinched for France, Hong Kong, Greece and Benelux.

Monahan and DiCaprio just worked together on “Body of Lies,” the Ridley Scott-directed WB thriller that also starred Russell Crowe.

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