In the last year, Korean cinema has received a nice boost thanks to the incredible success of Bong Joon-ho's Parasite at the 2020 Academy Awards, and as a result a lot of people have had the good fortune of discovering Yeon Sang-ho's Train To Busan: a 2016 zombie film that is unquestionably one of the best examples of the horror subgenre in the modern era. It's a movie that's actually really easy to find, as it's currently streaming on multiple platforms, but Hollywood is preparing to double down on its popularity with an upcoming remake – and now said remake has found a director to take the helm.
News of this development comes to us from Deadline, which says that New Line is currently in negotiations with Timo Tjahjanto as the director of the new Train To Busan. The filmmaker is a veteran in the horror genre, having previously made segments for the anthology movies V/H/S/2 and The ABCs Of Death as well as the features May The Devil Take You and May The Devil Take You Too. He's also well-versed in the action realm, having made the 2016 movie Headshot and the Netflix original The Night Comes For Us in 2018. All of that history should serve him well in the making of the zombie remake.
The original Train To Busan tells the story of a workaholic father (Gong Yoo) who starts the story by taking his young daughter on a train ride to the Korean city of Busan so that she can celebrate her birthday with her mother. Unfortunately, this trip happens to coincide with the timing of a leak at a chemical factory that is creating fast, infectious zombies. An infected person comes onboard before turning into a mindless monster, and the passengers have to work together to survive and move through the cars so that they don't get transformed themselves.
The film is an intense, insane ride, and turned out to be a global hit. It didn't do much business in theaters in North America, domestically earning just north of $2 million, but tickets sold around the world added another $90 million to that total. A direct sequel to Train To Busan, titled Train To Busan: Peninsula, was released last year, but it didn't do anywhere near the same kind of business, making $42.7 million worldwide (obviously the pandemic was a big factor as well).
Gary Dauberman, who is best known for Annabelle Comes Home, IT, and IT Chapter Two, is writing the screenplay, and James Wan is on board as a producer through his Atomic Monster banner. Clearly there is still a lot of work to be done before the Train To Busan remake is ready to get up on its feet, but landing a director is obviously a big step forward.