“Ferrari” director Michael Mann is planning to make a U.S. adaptation of South Korean crime thriller “Veteran.”
The project is at development stage, and Mann is working with the U.S. and Korean wings of CJ ENM, Korea’s leading film and TV conglomerate. It is currently undecided whether Mann himself will direct or just take production and writing credits.
“We are developing a script with Michael Mann, but his role and our schedule are not fixed yet,” a source close to CJ ENM told Variety.
Work halted on the project during the Hollywood screenwriters’ strike and it is unclear when development will pick up in earnest.
Mann is currently focusing on the development of “Heat 2,” which he recently confirmed as his next directing outing. The project, which is set up at Warner Bros., is the sequel to his genre-defining 1995 noir “Heat.”
“Veteran” has some similarities with “Heat” in that it features an intransigent cop hero and scenes of mano-a-mano bravado. But the antagonist is not so much a professional criminal as a corporate princeling who abuses his wealth and privilege.
Ryoo Seung-wan, writer and director of the original “Veteran,” made the film on a large canvas, but also steered his production to have a comedic or crowd-pleasing tone. The finished film had its international premiere in a sidebar of the 2015 Toronto festival, was named best film at the Sitges genre festival in Spain and earned over $85 million at the South Korean box office — roughly equivalent to $400 million in North America.
Although Mann has previously worked in Asia and with Asian stars — notably on 2015 “Blackhat” and with Gong Li in 2006 actioner “Miami Vice” — sources close to the development say that the current plan is to relocate the action from Korea to a U.S. city.
Mann’s latest film, “Ferrari,” starring Adam Driver as the legendary sports-car magnate, world premiered at the Venice Film Festival and will be released in the U.S. by Neon on Dec. 25. “Ferrari’s” likely inclusion in the Oscars race may also affect Mann’s schedule.