Foreign Menace

Image courtesy of Magnet Releasing

Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of distributor Magnolia Pictures, has shown an uncanny eye lately for remake-ready foreign films. Timecrimes, a Spanish sci-fi thriller directed by Nacho Vigilando released today, is one of several examples.

The United Artists remake has some impressive names attached. Steve Zaillian (who wrote Schindler’s List and American Gangster) signed on as co-producer; Children of Men screenwriter Tim Sexton will pen the script. Both David Cronenberg and horror maestro George Romero have been approached to direct, according to Magnet/Magnolia senior vice president Tom Quinn. No cast as yet, but Quinn says: “I think at the end of the day, they will not have any trouble landing A-list talent.”

Timecrimes is the third release in Magnet/Magnolia’s “Six Shooter Film Series,” comprising new genre films from around the world.  The series kicked off in October with the critically acclaimed (and commercially successful) Swedish vampire flick Let the Right One In. That film also has a remake in the works. Hammer Film Productions, the classic UK horror outfit, is one of three production companies involved. Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) has signed on to direct. This one might get moving soon: Reeves is “a big Hollywood hotshot,” Quinn said, and vampires are hot. “In the wake of Twilight, I think you can see that film being marketed third or fourth quarter 2009,” he predicted.

Another Magnet/Magnolia title up for the Hollywood treatment: Bong Joon-ho’s toxic-creature flick The Host, which earned critical adulation and $2.2. million after its March 2007 release. Apparently, it’s not just Hollywood that wants a piece: According to Quinn, a Chinese remake is in the works.