Somehow over the weekend, news that New Line Cinema is developing an English-language remake of the hit South Korean zombie movie Train to Busan began to go viral. Despite the news being six months old at this point, the word spread fast online and quickly drew extreme reactions and vast complaints about American studios remaking every good foreign horror film rather than something original. The new film, which has not been confirmed to take place in America (with its lack of real high speed rail transport presenting a major issue), does have a director attached though and to his credit filmmaker Timo Tjahjanto took the internet's outrage in stride.
"When your @ is suddenly filling up & its more about Train to Busan remake," he wrote on Twitter, tongue in his cheek. "In James (Wan) own words: 'Timo,we need to rise above & beyond everyone's expectations, just like other great remakes have done such as The Ring or Dawn of the Dead remake.' Who am I to let my boss down? Needed to add that James has been my hero since my college days. As a South East Asian kid from a conventional middle class family who doesn't exactly encourage artistic endeavors ( i.e blowing up heads, smearing fake blood) his rise from SAW inspired alot of us SEA genre doofus." (sic)
Responding to a Twitter user that called the potential remake "one of the worst ideas ever" and said Tjahjanto could "become one of the most hated filmmakers ever," the filmmaker had a hilarious reply: "If someones not hating your career somewhere in a dark dingy corner of the galaxy , means youre not aiming high enough. - Worf, son of Mogh."
Needed to add that James has been my hero since my college days.— Timo Tjahjanto (@Timobros) August 29, 2021
As a South East Asian kid from a conventional middle class family who doesn’t exactly encourage artistic endeavors ( i.e blowing up heads, smearing fake blood) his rise from SAW inspired alot of us SEA genre doofus. pic.twitter.com/3YAkbiJnUU
As alluded to, Tjahjanto will direct the new movie which has The Conjuring and Saw filmmaker James Wan attached as producer. Tjahjanto's previous credits include a litany of cult horror and action titles such as Netflix's The Night Comes for Us, Shudder's May the Devil Take You Too, the V/H/S 2 segment "Safe Haven," and another sequence for the upcoming VHS '94
Screenwriter Gary Dauberman, known for penning the two Stephen King's IT movies among others, was previously tapped to adapt script. The original Train to Busan tells the story of survivors escaping a deadly zombie plague while on a high speed train to the metropolitan city in South Korea, revealing twists and turns along the way as they fight the infected and try to make stops on the rail lines.
When asked in a previous interview if they'd come up with a "good reason" to remake the movie in America, Dauberman told SlashFilm: "Yes. I won't get more into that but that's one of those movies that's so f-ing great, it's so well done, you don't want to do anything that's going to be less than. I think we're certainly getting there. It feels like there's a reason to make the American version without ruining the experience of the original."
Check back here for news on the film as we learn about it.