This year’s hit South Korean zombie thriller-action film, “Train To Busan” (부산행), is going to get an English remake. The deal was jointly announced by French studio Gaumont and the film’s Korean distributor-financier Next Entertainment World (NEW).
Back in May, “Train to Busan” premiered in the midnight screening section of the Cannes Film Festival, immediately attracting interest. 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures were among the Hollywood studios who tried to pursue a deal, as well as French companies Studiocanal and EuropaCorp. Alas, Gaumont beat out big players who were circling the project for remake rights.
Gaumont CEO Sidonie Dumas revealed they’ve been “chasing the remake since Cannes Film Festival where the whole team loved it so much”. “We’re excited to start working on the U.S. adaptation that will mark our first foray into English-language moviemaking in Los Angeles,” he said.
Directed by Yeon Sang Ho (from the animation “The King Of Pigs”), “Train To Busan” stars Gong Yoo (of “Coffee Prince” and “Goblin” fame), Ma Dong Seok, Ahn So Hee (former Wonder Girls member), Jung Yoo Mi, Choi Woo Sik (of “Rooftop Prince” fame), and child actor Kim Soo Ahn.
The film follows a group of terrified train passengers battle their way through a countrywide viral outbreak on a suspicion-filled, blood-drenched bullet train ride to Busan, a safe zone that has managed to hold off the hordes of zombies.
“Train to Busan” opened in South Korea on 22nd July and generated USD38.8 million within the first 5 days, an all-time record at the Korean box office. Since its initial release, it has amassed USD80.5 million, making it this year’s top grossing film.
Upon the announcement, NEW CEO Kim Woo Taek said, “We are more than happy to start our business with Gaumont, one of the greatest film companies with rich experience in terms of global projects. We hope this opportunity could let Korean films get more attention and be familiar with the audience all over the world.”
The key staff, cast, and production schedules for the remake of “Train to Busan” haven’t been confirmed, but Gaumont has already been approached by several Hollywood talent agencies and prominent directors. And because it will be set in the US, it is not known if NEW will have any say on the production of the film or if Gaumont will have 100% creative control over it.