Studiocanal, The Picture Company, and Ombra Films are developing an English-language remake of Johnnie To’s Chinese crime thriller “Drug War.”
The Picture Company’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman will produce the film alongside Ombra Film’s Juan Sola and Jaume Collet-Serra. Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment will executive produce. A director is not yet attached.
The script will be written by Ryan Engle, who wrote Liam Neeson’s 2014 action-thriller “Non-Stop,” which was produced by Studiocanal and The Picture Company with Collet-Serra directing. Engle also wrote New Line’s Dwayne Johnson action-fantasy “Rampage,” currently in production.
“Drug War” tells the story of a naive drug runner who is arrested during a raid and becomes an informant to stay out of prison. What follows is a harrowing journey that turns the informant into a key operative. The original film, directed by To, starred Sun Honglei as a police captain and Louis Koo as the arrested man.
“Drug War” premiered at the Rome Film Festival in 2012. It won Best Picture at the Chinese Film Media Awards in 2014.
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Frederick Tsui negotiated the deal for Media Asia and on behalf of Beijing Hairun Pictures. Ron Halpern and Shana Eddy will oversee the remake for Studiocanal.
Engle is repped by Original Artists, Michael Lasker at Mosaic and McKuin, Frankel, and Whitehead.