LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Madea star Tyler Perry has teamed with CJ E&M, Korea's largest entertainment conglomerate, to produce an English-language remake of Korean hit film Miss Granny.
The production, targeted at the African-American community, will be a co-venture between CJ, and Tyler Perry Studio's 34th Street Films.
CJ has also pacted with actor-director Eugenio Derbez's 3 Pas Studios to produce a Spanish-language version. Both films are set for release in 2018 and both are aimed primarily at the North American market.
Miss Granny is a body-swap romantic comedy featuring a 70-year-old woman who transforms into a young woman in her 20s. It was released in January 2014 in Korea and earned US$53.7 million from 8.65 million admissions, before going on to be remade in Chinese and Vietnamese.
"We could not find a partner more suitable for the English-language remake of 'Granny,' than Tyler Perry Studio," CJ said in a statement. "We expect to see a great English remake, as the company is very strong at making comedies with family bonds at their core."
Lionsgate subsidiary Pantelion Films will handle distribution in North America of the Spanish retread, which is targeted primarily at the Hispanic community in the U.S. It is also envisaged that Pantelion may also introduce it to other Spanish-speaking markets including Mexico and Latin America. It too is expected to release in 2018.
"Major Hollywood studios are paying attention to CJ's global moves because not even Hollywood studios have tried what we are doing - localising one source into different versions for each country we are expanding into," said Lim Myung-kyun, head of global business at CJ Entertainment, in a statement. "The unique strength of 'Granny' is that it is being remade into two different versions to suit the sentiments of the two (African-American and Hispanic) communities. Both set a high value on family bonds."
The Chinese adaptation, 20, Once Again!, grossed $57.4 million. CJ's Vietnamese version, Sweet 20, earned a total of $4.8 million in box office to become the highest-grossing local film of all time in that market.
Another in Indonesia is now in post-production and is set for a theatrical release during the first half of 2017.