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It’s been known that Imprint Entertainment has been after the remake rights to the South Korean horror movie “Phone” since April of 2009, but it looks like they’ve finally landed it. The remake was made official today in South Korea, where the Imprint bigwigs showed up for a press conference with original “Phone” director Ahn Byung-ki, who will be following in the footsteps of his Japanese compatriots Hideo Nakata and Takashi Shimizu by remaking his own movie for an American audience.
“I thought Korean horror films would succeed in Hollywood once Korean directors steer the remake projects, just as ‘The Grudge’ and ‘The Ring’ series were succcessful.”
He is, of course, referencing Nakata directing the remake of his “The Grudge”, while Shimizu did likewise with his “Grudge” franchise.
Ahn, for those unfamiliar with South Korean cinema, is famous for his long-hair ghost story horror movies, having previously directed “Phone”, “Nightmare”, “Bunshinsaba”, and more recently, 2006’s “APT”. All four movies featured, predictably enough, vengeful female ghosts with long hair stalking our victims, usually very attractive young females.
In the original “Phone”, Korean starlet Ji-won Ha played a spunky reporter who begins getting strange calls on her cellphone. She eventually ends up staying at a friend’s house, where strange things and ghosts with long hair stuff begins happening.
The remake will be shot in South Korea with a $10 million dollar budget, and will field a Korean and American cast. Look for it in 2010.