South Korea’s wildly popular zombie film “Train to Busan” will be remade into an English version by French studio Gaumont. The joint announcement was made today along with the film’s Korean distributor-financier Next Entertainment World.
“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,” said Kim Woo-taek, CEO of Next Entertainment World.
Since the film premiered at Cannes’ midnight screening section in May, it has been a box office hit in Korea and enjoyed favorable reviews internationally as studios, including Fox and Sony, have sought to remake the film.
Back in August Variety reported that studios were already hot on the trail of a remake.
The original is directed by animator Yeon Sang-ho in his live-action debut and takes place inside a high-speed train from Seoul to Korea’s port city of Busan. Some have claimed the film is as an allegory for the country’s troubled political situation currently.
Train to Busan has garnered $80.5 million at the box office since its July release, making it the biggest selling film in Korea.
“We’re excited to start working on the U.S. adaptation that will mark our first foray into English-language moviemaking in Los Angeles,” said Gaumont CEO Sidonie Dumas.
Cast and production schedules have not yet been confirmed, but Gaumont said they are currently packaging production of film and have been approached by Hollywood talent agencies and directors.
According to Variety:
The film will be set in the U.S. with Gaumont’s L.A.-based branch handling the production. Gaumont has just made a key appointment at its Los Angeles office to oversee English-language productions.
The U.S. remake of “Train to Busan” fits into Gaumont’s new ambition to expand its footprint globally with French- and English-language movies, tapping into the network of talent and producers it has developed in the U.S. through Gaumont’s Los Angeles-based international TV division, whose credits include “Narcos” and “Hannibal.”
The deal with Gaumont also includes French-language rights, although the company is not planning a French version.
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