By Min Lee
The Associated Press
BUSAN, South Korea (AP) — Korean American producer Roy Lee has been a pioneer in remaking Asian movies for Hollywood, scoring big hits with movies like “The Ring” and the Oscar-winning “The Departed.” Still, he says one of his recent productions got lost in translation.
“My Sassy Girl” — a smash hit in its native South Korea in 2001 — went straight to video in the U.S. because men rejected its premise of a male character putting up with a bossy love interest in American test screenings, Lee said Oct. 3.
“Men rejected the movie. In the U.S. version, the American audiences would go, ‘If a girl did that to me, we’d just dump her,’” Lee told The Associated Press in an interview on the sidelines of the Pusan International Film Festival.
Lee said the original film succeeded in South Korea because the concept of a bossy girlfriend is a novelty in Asia, while it is not uncommon in the U.S.
“I realize some things work better in Asia,” Lee said.
Lee said the remake was also hampered by a flawed script, time and budget constraints.
Despite the disappointing reception to “My Sassy Girl,” Lee hasn’t given up on remakes. ♦