The Korean Film Council announced details of a planned Chinese remake of the Korean action-comedy modern classic My Wife Is a Gangster. The remake’s estimated $6.2 million budget will be financed entirely out of China. The film – which is slated for a simultaneous August 2012 opening in both countries – is meant to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China.
The original My Wife Is a Gangster was a Korean box office smash in 2001. It centered on badass lady-gangster Eun-jin whose dying sister requests, as a last wish, that she settle down and get married. Eun-jin ends up hitched to dopey office worker Su-il, but just as she’s making a highly awkward transition into domestic life, a rival gang begins pushing into her territory. Violence and hilarity ensues!
Back in 2001, the Korean film scene was just beginning to attract international attention. After an intense bidding war, Miramax purchased the US remake rights to My Wife Is a Gangster for $1 million. It was the first time a South Korean film had been optioned for an American remake. While that Miramax remake never materialized, the film did spawn a pair of Korean sequels. Now, this Chinese remake stands to bolster the legacy of a film that’s proven to be surprisingly influential.
The most important question left to answer is who will play Eun-jin in the remake?