A surprising move here by Universal. It’s not often that South African films are remade by Hollywood studios. I’ll have to research, but this just might be a first, or, at least, a very rare buy.
The studio has announced that it picked up the remake rights to the South African action/drama iNumber Number, directed by Donovan Marsh (his third feature directorial effort), which stars Sdumo Mtshali, Presley Chweneyagae, Israel Makoe, Hlubi Mboya, and Owen Sejake.
This is a month after the film World Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was picked up by Fortissimo Films. The company acquired worldwide distribution rights (excluding North America and South Africa however).
The original film follows an honest but ambitious undercover cop, who’s cheated out of a major reward by his corrupt superiors, and opts to participate in a one-off score, after he infiltrates a heist gang, and instead of busting them, joins the effort, while fending off a partner who disagrees with him actions, and gang members who recognize him as a cop.
The violent, action-packed and adroitly-written and directed film by Marsh, has an oddball cast that provides some comic relief.
Needless to say, the Universal Pictures version will be set in the USA. Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious flicks scribe), and his partner Emile Gladstone, will produce the remake via their Universal-based Chris Morgan Productions.
Aram Tertzakian of XYZ Films is also producing.
I wouldn’t automatically expect a cast made up primarily of black actors either. It’s a remake.
Watch the gritty trailer for the original below: