Ken Scott to direct the $11m project.

Prolific Quebec-based producer Roger Frappier is poised to remake his own $8.9 million box office hit La Grande Séduction, in English, as The Grand Seduction, for the international marketplace with Ken Scott directing.

“We had so many offers from so many countries to remake it because the story has such a universal theme,” Frappier told Screen, noting the remake budget is $11 million. “In the mean time, Ken Scott, who wrote the original screenplay, has directed two movies [The Big Tease and Starbuck]. So he finally gets to complete that fantastic circle and direct his own script in English.” 

The 40-day shoot begins August 20 and runs through November in Newfoundland, home to co-producer Barbara Doran.

The Grand Seduction will tell the same charming story as the French version (retitled Seducing Dr Lewis in some territories), which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004.

Set in a tiny fishing village, the story revolves around a much-needed financial boost which will only come in the form of a new factory if the villagers can lure a doctor to take up full-time residency on the island. Inspired, they devise a scheme.

“First and for most, I will definitely preserve all the wit and the charm of La Grande Séduction,” Scott told Screen. “In the original film, there was also very efficient comedy firmly rooted in truly loveable characters. There is also a romantic charm, a sort of enchantment in the way the story is told that has made the original such a success. All these elements are essential assets for the remake.”

“Doing a good remake is no less work than creating original material,” Scott added: “The challenges are simply different.”

Frappier is best known for producing Denys Arcand’s Oscar-nominated films, The Decline of the American Empire and Jesus of Montreal, but has also produced first films such as Un 32 août sur terreand Maelström, for the likes of Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies).