EXCLUSIVE: Move over Squid Games, to be Time to hunt. In an interesting development, we can reveal that Netflix is remaking its Korean movie Time to hunt, the first time the streamer has adapted one of its local-language movies into English. The studio is complete, you could say.
Netflix has appointed director Adam Randall for the adaptation, having just worked with British filmmaker on vampire comedy night teeth.
Time to hunt, which debuted at the Berlin Film Festival last year, follows a group of young people who commit crimes to survive in nearby Korea, which is hit by a financial crisis.
The well-received original was directed by Yoon Sung-hyun and features a cast of up-and-coming Korean actors including Lee Je-hoon, Ahn Jae-hong, Choi Woo-shik, Park Jeong-min and Park Hae-soo. Rhee Handae produced.
Randall, also known for the horror of 2019 I see you, told us: “I watched the film early in the lockdown and thought it was a really strong concept. It’s half robbery, half chase, set in an almost dystopia, so it combines three of my favorite cinematic genres. The version I’m working on is set in the US with a different story but a similar structure. As far as I understand, this is the first time Netflix has chosen one of its own movies in a foreign language. The option process was a bit complicated, but it’s done now.”
Netflix has yet to hire a writer, but was won over by a 150-page document Randall presented for them this summer.
The project marks the director’s third collaboration with the streamer after iBoy and night teeth, which was released last month. Randall described the studio as “incredibly supportive and collaborative.” The director has been told that he will see viewing data for night teeth, something the streamer recently promised to do with more of his filmmakers.
night teeth, which had to pause production midway through shooting due to the pandemic, takes place over one night in Los Angeles and follows a young driver who drives two beautiful young women to various parties in the city. But he finds himself in a fight for his life when he discovers their true identities. Starring Lucy Fry, Debby Ryan, Jorge Lendeborg Jr and Alfie Allen.
Time to hunt also had an eventful journey to the screen. The film was originally scheduled for a theatrical release in Korea last February, but the producers saw its theatrical ambitions shelved due to the pandemic. Then producer Little Big Pictures made a world rights deal with Netflix. However, just before the film’s online bow, international seller Contents Panda filed a court order against the production company, claiming it still had a valid contract and had already signed more than 30 territory deals on the title. After a court in Seoul granted the motion, Netflix’s release was delayed, but finally went ahead in the spring of last year.
As an industry, the massive global success of local language series – Netflix alone can boast Squid Games, money robbery and she-wolf among its foreign language outbreaks – has made the need for English language remakes less essential. But on select projects, especially those that haven’t had the same global reach, they clearly still make sense.
You can watch the fun trailer for Time to hunt (which has amassed over a million views) below.