Will Smith says Welcome To The Sticks

When America (or, indeed, the UK) spots a French comedy burning up the box office, it quickly grabs the rights to plot a remake. And while some of them seem to linger in development limbo (Le Diner de Cons with Sacha Baron Cohen, anyone?), that hasn’t put the brakes on the process.

Will Smith is the latest Hollywood type to grab the rights to a French flick - he’ll produce a remake of Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (Welcome To The Sticks), which finds a mild-mannered post office manager transferred to a rain-sodden town in the north of the country where he doesn’t speak the lingo. Smith and his company – which has set the project up with Warner Bros – plan to turn it into the tale of a smug corporate type sent to small-town USA who ends up finding what his life was missing. Someone’s been watching ‘90s Michael J Fox comedy Doc Hollywood on cable, then…

Variety is packing its bags .