'It is a great script and a great story,' said Scowcroft. 'It has universal appeal - everyone wants to be loved.'
Global Entertainment's Stuart Scowcroft and Rezso Bodonyi said that they had purchased English-language remake rights from World Film Entertainment for 'a reasonable sum'.
The Australian and Hungarian producers said they had been in negotiations for six months before settling on the sale. Bodonyi and World Film's Adam Nemenyi had worked together at Hungary's Mafilm Studio before the latter emigrated to Australia.
The producers are still weighing their options. The project might be structured as an Australian production, to take advantage of Australia's new 40% rebate for features, or as international co-production.
The producers have not settled on a director or a cast, but said they would offer the leading role to Hugh Grant first. Attaching Grant to project would mean a budget of $40m-$50m, Bodonyi said.
'An ensemble cast could do the job with lower budget. The key is in the performances,' Scowcroft said, adding that without A-list stars they could make the film for $4m.
The Hungarian version had a strong release on Valentine's Day earlier this year and has seen more than 250,000 admissions since, making it the best-selling film of 2007 so far.
The producers regret that they won't make Valentine's Day 2008 for their Australian release but they are eyeing a Mother's Day release there.
The Hungarian film is directed by Tamas Sas (Presszo) and stars Sandor Csanyi (Kontroll), Monika Ullmann and Ivan Fenyo (Children Of Glory). It is the first produced screenplay by Janos Szurmai.