Acclaimed New Zealand horror comedy Housebound is set for a Hollywood remake, with New Line Cinema penning a deal with Kiwi film-makers Gerard Johnstone and Luke Sharpe.

Sharpe and Johnstone will serve as executive producers on the remake but New Line is searching for a writer to adapt the script.

"It's amazing to find ourselves in this position" says Sharpe. "For the format to now be picked up by a major Hollywood studio with such great pedigree in the genre, is just incredible."

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Movie review: Housebound


The film is about a young woman unhappily forced to return to her country home on home detention who begins to suspect there may be something malevolent in the house.

"The movie is scary but has comedy woven in," Carolyn Blackwood of New Line Cinema said. "It's very difficult do to well but he pulled it off."

Despite rave reviews from critics, the film was only moderately successful at the New Zealand box office but found international success at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival last March.

It also earned the support of fellow Kiwi film-maker and horror aficionado, Sir Peter Jackson.

"Peter was pretty excited to see such an accomplished local genre film coming out of nowhere and in a nice touch of serendipity, his original title for Braindead was in fact Housebound," explains executive producer Ant Timpson.

"So once he got behind the film in terms of endorsement, numerous doors opened up for Gerard."

The original film was produced through the NZ Film Commission's Escalator scheme, receiving $250,000. Johnstone says he's excited to see the story get a big budget makeover.

"This is awesome for a number of reasons. I'm incredibly proud of the movie we made, but I'm curious to see what someone could do with a bit more cash" he says.


"I know some fans of the original will have concerns about a remake, but it's not like it erases the original film from existence. It's still available for anyone who wants to watch it."

The original film was released in New Zealand cinemas last September, earning a four-and-a-half star review from Herald entertainment editor Russell Baillie, who called it: "our best big-screen comedy in years".

New Line decided a remake was a better option than picking up the movie for distribution.

- with AAP