Remake rights for 13 Beloved (also reviewed here), the Thai thriller that is likely the best Thai film of 2006, have been picked up by The Weinstein Company, reports Variety (another link here).
The biz-minded Variety is understandably gushing with details about the film, which is directed by Chookiat Sakveerakul and stars Krissada "Noi Pru" Sukosol Clapp. In it's clipped, jargon-laden style, Variety describes the film thusly:
Story involves a naive man dragged into a gruesome reality show with an audience he cannot see. Winning takes guts and questionable morals as one must perform acts straight out of Fear Factor or Abu Ghraib.
The studio behind it is Sahamongkol Film International, which made big money with the Weinsteins when it sold them Tom Yum Goong (which the Weinsteins cut and retitled The Protector). It made $11.7 million in its North American theatrical release, which likely makes it the biggest-earning Thai film ever.
13 Beloved will be at the American Film Market next month, and Sahamongkol has a new sales team that will be pushing it in territories outside North America.
Michelle Krumm, executive vice president of acquisitions for the Weinsteins, said the 13 storyline "has tremendous potential to be remade for audiences around the world."
Will the original Thai film ever be shown in the US? Who knows? There's still a few Asian films rolling around in the vaults at Miramax, where the Weinsteins purchased Tears of the Black Tiger, had it re-edited and then never did release it. The bastards. It's made at least one Thai studio wary of dealing with them again, but Sahamongkol seems happy.
(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)