Hart is eyeing a starring role in the comedy, which has been picked up by Universal for world rights. Oliver will script.
Extreme Job, which earlier this year became the highest grossing film in Korean box office history, follows a team of narcotics detectives who go undercover in a fried chicken joint to stake out an organized crime gang. Things take an unexpected turn when the detectives’ chicken recipe suddenly transforms the rundown restaurant into the hottest eatery in town. The Korean hit has taken $127M in its home market, more than 14 times the film’s budget.
The growing CJ Entertainment is developing and producing with Hart’s HeartBeat banner. Producers are Francis Chung, CJ’s Head of U.S. Productions, Kevin Hart, through his HartBeat production banner, and Oliver. 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.
The project will mark the second collaboration between Hart, CJ Entertainment and Universal on an English-language remake of a Korean film. They are also developing female-driven dramedy Bye, Bye, Bye at the studio. Amy Aniobi is writing the script centered on a group of adult friends who reunite 20 years after high school. It is based on the 2011 Korean hit titled Sunny.
CJ’s Francis Chung said, “Once Extreme Job became such a phenomenon in Korea, we knew we had to partner up with powerhouses for the U.S. version. 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,” added Hart. “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 Kpop star.”
“The concept of this film is so unique and Universal Pictures is the perfect home to help bring it to a global audience,” noted Oliver. “I look forward to collaborating once again with their teams.”
Adam Mehr of Pryor Cashman negotiated the deal on behalf of CJ Entertainment. James Adams negotiated on behalf of Kevin Hart and Kim Stenton negotiated on behalf of Tracy Oliver.
Hart is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Schreck Rose. Oliver is represented by ICM, Artists First, and Myman Greenspan.