EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has emerged from a three-studio bidding battle with screen rights to remake the Korean crime film New World. The deal was mid six-figures and the film will be produced by Roy Lee and Dan Lin, with Jon Silk and John Powers Middleton exec producing. The script will be written by Will Fetters, who has been on fire at Warner Bros. He has scripted the Clint Eastwood-directed remake of A Star Is Born, as well as Crazy For The Storm for Sean Penn to direct, and he most recently rewrote the Nicholas Sparks novel The Best Of Me.
The original film was written and directed by Park Hoon-jung, who scripted I Saw The Devil and The Unjust. New World has parallels to The Departed, on which Lee was exec producer and Lin was development exec. After a mob boss is gunned down, an outright battle ensues among several mobsters who want to succeed him. One of them is an undercover cop. The pic just got released. WME and 3 Arts rep Fetters, and Sony execs Sam Dickerman and Foster Driver will oversee the pic. Lin and Lee are Warner Bros-based producers, and they are also teaming on a lawsuit against Legendary Pictures after they were dropped as producers on Godzilla. That case is in the courts. They are also teamed on The Lego Movie. Lee is in preproduction on Run All Night, with Liam Neeson starring and Jaume Collet-Serra directing, and the Ryan Reynolds-starrer Voices.