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CJ ENM seeks to crack the US market with thriller remake

The American remake of the Korean horror thriller “Hide and Seek” has commenced filming, according to officials at CJ ENM, along with another film by director Drake Doremus.

“Hide and Seek,” originally released in 2013, is a flick by director Huh Jung featuring a family who believe strangers are hiding in their home. It was recently reported that actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers was cast as the lead in the film directed by Joel David Moorem, joined by Jacinda Barrett, Joe Pantoliano and Mustafa Shakir.

The film was originally to be distributed by Next Entertainment World, but its rights were recently acquired by CJ.

A scene from the 2013 film “Hide and Seek” (NEW)
A scene from the 2013 film “Hide and Seek” (NEW)

The yet-untitled Doremus film with the working title “No, No, No, Yes” will feature Jamie Dornan and Sabastian Stan, alongside “Shailene Woodley.”

CJ has been working on the “Hide and Seek” project since 2017 and aims to release it in the second half of next year.

It will mark the first film by the 413 Pictures, a CJ subsidiary label launched in July that specializes in horror and thriller genres. The company’s name incorporates the numbers four and thirteen, which are considered bad luck in the East and West, respectively, demonstrating the Korean entertainment behemoth’s ambition to make inroads into the largest film market in the world.

According to CJ ENM, 10 films are currently in the works for the US market. Officials said the company is gunning for the US because a success there could lead to success in the international market.

CJ announced last week that Universal Studios would be in charge of global distribution for “Bye Bye Bye,” the remake of the Korean film “Sunny” that is being created by Hartbeat Productions helmed by comedian and actor Kevin Hart.

Remakes of Korean films in the past mostly took the form of Korean film companies selling the rights to their movies to US producers, and the films then being created by US filmmakers.

But CJ plans to actively participate in producing the films, as with the upcoming thriller.

Other ongoing projects include “Ms. Granny,” a remake of a 2014 comedy hit that was a breakthrough role for the lead actress Shim Eun-kyung. It is being co-developed by CJ and MGM Studios, which, according to CJ officials, made the initial offer to remake the movie in the belief that it is one “highly likely to succeed in the US market.”

CJ ENM is also working on the “Son Kee-chung Project,” a biopic about the Japanese colonial-era long-distance runner who became the first Korean to win a medal at the Olympic Games in 1936. 

By Yoon Min-sik