According to The Hollywood Reporter,in an unprecedented move in the trend of U.S. remakes of South Korean films, L.A.-based screenwriter David Franzoni (Gladiator) has optioned rights to adapt Park Chan-wook's 2000 hit Joint Security Area.

The film is a controversial drama about the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea -- using the backdrop of the U.S.-Mexico border and illegal immigration.

Under the deal, Franzoni also will make his directing debut on the as-yet-untitled remake. The deal was finalized Wednesday between South Korean production and sales company MK Pictures; Franzoni's agency, CAA; and his attorney Linda Lichter.

Normally remake deals for South Korean films are brokered by an independent manager in Los Angeles or between the sales and production company and the American entity. Numerous deals have been made with U.S. studios in recent years, but this is the first time an individual has approached a Korean company directly, according to MKP's L.A. managing director Paul Yi.