Universal Pictures has secured worldwide rights to an English-language remake of CJ Entertainment’s South Korean comedy hit and all-time box office record-holder Extreme Job, with Kevin Hart eyeing the star role.
CJ Entertainment and HartBeat Productions will Produce with Tracy Oliver (Little, Girls Trip), who will adapt the screenplay based on the hit feature about a team of narcotics detectives who go undercover in a fried chicken restaurant just as it becomes the hottest eatery in town.
Lee Byoung-heon’s Extreme Job opened in January in South Korea and has since become the highest grossing ilm of all time, earning $127m to outstrip Avatar and local smash Roaring Currents.
CJ Entertainment is developing and producing the English-language remake with Kevin Hart’s HeartBeat production label. Producers are Francis Chung, CJ’s head of US productions, Hart through HartBeat, and Oliver. Head of International at CJ, Jerry Ko, serves as executive producer.
Fred Lee, CJ Entertainment’s Los Angeles-based director of development, and Ini Chung, CJ’s Seoul-based director of development, are co-producing and will oversee development of the project with HartBeat’s Carli Haney.
Extreme Job marks the second collaboration between Hart, CJ Entertainment and Universal on an English language remake of a Korean hit. Hart and CJ are currently developing the female-driven dramedy Bye, Bye, Bye. Amy Aniobi is writing the script centred on adult friends who reunite 20 years after high school, and based on the hit Sunny.
CJ’s Chung said, “Once Extreme Job became such a phenomenon in Korea, we knew we had to partner up with powerhouses for the US version. With Universal, Kevin Hart and Tracy Oliver on board, we know this project is in the savvy hands of hit-makers who turn films into cultural events.
“At Hartbeat, we are always seeking fun projects that tell a story for worldwide audiences, and we could not be more excited to be a part of this one,” said Hart. “Tracy Oliver is such an incredible writer who will surely bring this story to life. We are so thrilled to be working with Universal and CJ Entertainment, who’s still helping me achieve my goal of becoming a Kpop star.”
“The concept of this film is so unique and Universal Pictures is the perfect home to help bring it to a global audience,” said Oliver. “I look forward to collaborating once again with their teams.”
Adam Mehr of Pryor Cashman negotiated the deal on behalf of CJ Entertainment. James Adams negotiated on behalf of Hart, and Kim Stenton negotiated on behalf of Oliver.