After making a big splash on the indie scene with his 2004 directorial debut “Garden State,” Zach Braff has set up his next helming gig, a remake of Danish pic “Open Hearts” for Paramount Pictures.
Braff will direct and produce and is likely to take a small role in the redo, which is scheduled to shoot in New Jersey in June when Braff is on hiatus from his hit NBC sitcom “Scrubs.”
Braff and his reps took his script out on Friday to a limited number of bidders: Fox Searchlight, the Weinstein Co. and Paramount. A bidding war ensued, with Par winning out by the end of the weekend.
The reason for limited bidders: Searchlight and Harvey Weinstein teamed on the release of “Garden State” (when Weinstein was head of Miramax Films) and Paramount Pictures senior veep of production Pamela Abdy served as a producer on the pic, which won a Grammy for compilation soundtrack as well as an Independent Spirit Award for first feature.
Susanne Bier directed “Open Hearts,” which received a domestic theatrical release via Newmarket Films in February 2003. Mads Mikkelsen, Sonja Richter, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Paprika Steen star in the pic, described as a Dogma 95 film about a woman who is devastated when her fiance is paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident. To complicate the situation, she enters into an affair with her fiance’s doctor, whose wife is the driver who caused the accident.
Braff has yet to decide on a final cast for his pic. Currently he is the only producer on the remake, but Par is likely to enlist the services of another producer before the film heads into production. In addition to Abdy –a close associate of Braff’s — Par production co-prexy Brad Weston is shepherding at Par for studio prexy Gail Berman.
Since making his feature debut with “Garden State,” the “Scrubs” star has lent his voice to Disney’s “Chicken Little” and taken a lead role in the upcoming DreamWorks pic “The Last Kiss.”