Miramax married to Korean ‘Gangster’

Action comedy finds distributor in U.S.

SEOUL — Miramax has won the battle for remake rights to South Korean homegrown hit “My Wife Is a Gangster.”

Miramax was one of several U.S. studios vying for the rights after viewing subtitled copies of the pic a week after it preemed in Seoul. Deal, for a reported $950,000, was closed Tuesday.

Miramax dispatched a representative to Seoul last weekend to negotiate with world sales agent Cineclick Asia. Sources say Miramax also bought U.S. rights to the original pic for $150,000.

Remake will be produced by L.A.-based Roy Lee and his partner Doug Davison. Project will go out to writers and directors soon, Lee told Daily Variety.

Miramax reps were not available to confirm terms of the deal, but Cineclick Asia managing director Youngjoo Suh told Daily Variety, “We chose Miramax even before the bidding because they made a fair offer and we believed the company would do a good job in distributing the film.”

Purchase marks the first time a Korean film has been sold to a U.S. studio for remake.

Cineclick will receive an unspecified percentage of total revenue as a bonus depending on the film’s U.S. B.O. success and get all revenues from the remake’s release in Korea.

Suh said she expects the pic to go into production in the next 18 months.

“My Wife Is a Gangster,” made on a budget of $2.6 million, is an action comedy about a female mob boss who gets married to please a dying sister. The gangster sends her henchmen to find a suitable guy and they come back with a poor, unsuspecting dupe who has no idea what he’s getting into.

The film sold 2.3 million tickets, grossing $17 million, in its first 10 days in Korea and has been at the top of the B.O. for three weeks. It was produced by Seo Se-won and distributed by Korea Pictures.

(Don Groves in Sydney contributed to this report.)

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