The ‘top end’ crime series, based on an idea by Aaron Fa’aoso, featured Fa’aoso plus Brian Cox, Firass Dirani, Rena Owen and Jimi Bani.
It received mixed reviews when it aired in early 2012 but struggled in the ratings with its blend of violence and black comedy.
Deadline reports Cinemax will relocate the story from Cairns and the Torres Strait islands to Florida and Jamaica.
The US version will be adapted by Hell On Wheels creators Tony Gayton and Joe Gayton.
Cinemax will co-produce with two other NBCU divisions, Working Title and Universal TV. NBCU also has a majority stake in Matchbox Pictures.
The Straits will become the second ABC drama to undergo a recent US adaptation, following FOX’s pilot for Rake.