On one hand, an American Train to Busan remake is a bad idea. On the other hand, the remake just landed itself a very exciting director: Timo Tjahjanto, the filmmaker behind May the Devil Take You, The Night Comes For Us, Headshot, and more. Produced by James Wan, the new Train to Busan is a remake of the South Korean action-horror zombie film directed by Yeon Sang-ho that became an international hit.
Timo Tjahjanto is one hell of an action filmmaker, and if you need to see proof of that, here’s a fight scene from The Night Comes for Us:
In addition to The Night Comes For Us, some of Tjahjanto’s credits include the excellent V/H/S/2 segment Safe Haven (co-directed with Gareth Evans), May the Devil Take You, and Headshot (co-directed with Kimo Stamboel). Anyone who has seen any of those films can confirm that Tjahjanto is an exciting filmmaker to pay attention to.
And yet! I can’t help but remain suspicious about this American Train to Busan remake, which Tjahjanto is now directing, according to Deadline. The original South Korean film was an international hit, which begs the question – why do we need a remake at all? Is the remake going to be set in America? If so, they’re going to have to change the name. Will it be called Train to Boston now? Many questions, few answers.
In the original Train to Busan, “A man, his estranged daughter, and other passengers become trapped on a speeding train during a zombie outbreak in South Korea.” The end result is thrilling and emotional, and proves that while the zombie genre has been done to death, there are still ways to inject new life into it. Here’s a trailer:
Train to Busan also spawned a sequel, Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula, in which “A soldier and his team battle hordes of post-apocalyptic zombies in the wastelands of the Korean Peninsula.” That film was not as well-received as the first, and I confess I haven’t even seen it yet just because everyone tells me it’s a disappointment.
The remake is set up at New Line, with Atomic Monster’s James Wan and Michael Clear and Gaumont’s Nicolas Atlan and Terry Kalagian producing along with Coin Operated’s Gary Dauberman. Dauberman, who wrote It, The Nun, Annabelle Comes Home, and more, is also handling the script. Judson Scott, Sidonie Dumas, Christophe Riandee, and Johanna Byer are executive producing. Since I’m such a fan of Tjahjanto’s work, I’m willing to give his Train to Busan remake a shot. But for now, I remain skeptical.
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