Kevin Hart is producing with an eye to star in the comedy “Extreme Job,” an English-language remake of a Korean box office smash, and Universal Pictures has acquired the worldwide rights to the film.
Last March, “Extreme Job” became the highest grossing film of all time in South Korea, taking in $127 million in what was 14 times greater than the film’s budget. CJ Entertainment, the Korean entertainment conglomerate that made the original comedy, is developing and producing the English-language remake along with Hart’s HartBeat production banner.
Tracy Oliver (“Girls Trip,” “Little”) is on board to adapt the screenplay about a team of narcotics detectives who go undercover in a fried chicken joint to stake out an organized crime gang. But things take an unexpected turn when the detectives’ chicken recipe suddenly transforms the rundown restaurant into the hottest eatery in town.
Hart is producing on behalf of HartBeat, and Francis Chung, the company’s head of U.S. Production, is producing on behalf of CJ Entertainment. Oliver is also a producer. Jerry Ko, head of international at CJ, is executive producing.
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” will be the second collaboration between Hart, CJ and Universal on an English-language remake of a Korean film. Hart and CJ are currently developing the female-driven dramedy, “Bye, Bye, Bye” at Universal. Amy Aniobi is writing the script centered on a group of adult friends who reunite 20 years after high school, based on the 2011 Korean film “Sunny.”
“Once ‘Extreme Job’ became such a phenomenon in Korea, we knew we had to partner up with powerhouses for the U.S. version,” Chung said in a statement. “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,” Hart said in a statement. “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 K-Pop star.”
“The concept of this film is so unique and Universal Pictures is the perfect home to help bring it to a global audience,” Oliver said in a statement. “I look forward to collaborating once again with their teams.”
Adam Mehr of Pryor Cashman negotiated the “Extreme Job” deal on behalf of CJ Entertainment. James Adams negotiated on behalf of Hart and Kim Stenton negotiated on behalf of Oliver.
Hart is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Schreck Rose. Oliver is represented by ICM, Artists First, and Myman Greenspan.