‘Train to Busan’: Fans Are Not Happy About the U.S. Remake

The hit South Korean zombie thriller Train to Busan is getting a U.S remake. Yeon Sang-ho’s 2016 zombie film was a major success in South Korea and the international box office. When the news of a Train to Busan remake started circulating on the internet, fans were not too pleased to hear the horror film is getting an American version.  

‘Train to Busan’ was a smash hit in South Korea and worldwide

Train to Busan follows a fund manager (Gong Yoo) and his daughter (Kim Su-an) aboard a high-speed train from Seoul to Busan. The train departs during a zombie outbreak, and they must fight to survive as the flesh-eating zombies threaten their lives. The Korean zombie film is a gripping yet emotional watch from beginning to end.

The zombie thriller was a smash hit at the box office – it became one of the top-grossing movies of all time in South Korea, earning a total of $38.8 million in its first five days. Additionally, Train to Busan performed well internationally. The film earned $2.2 million in the United States and Canada. The zombie thriller spawned a sequel titled Train to Busan: Peninsula, released in 2020. 

Train to Busan: Peninsula takes place four years after the original movie. The film follows a soldier named ​​Han Jung-Seok (Gang Dong-Won) and other survivors as they head to Hong Kong to retrieve a truck with $20 million on board. However, they must travel alongside the Korean peninsula and escape the zombies. According to Deadline, the sequel film earned $13 million at the South Korean box office and grossed $42.7 million worldwide.

Fans don’t want an American version of ‘Train to Busan’

Train to Busan is more than just a zombie horror film. The film’s ability to delve into societal norms and issues in Korean society, such as classism and poverty, makes the zombie apocalyptic thriller so great. The film also tackles themes like selfishness and sacrifice. That commentary remains partly why some fans don’t want a new version. The news of a U.S remake was announced in February 2021, but some fans still feel strongly about the subject. 

“Every time I see mention of the Train to Busan remake, I shake my head,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “There’s nuance to its very specific social commentary.”

“Why try to ruin Train to Busan by making a remake when you can just literally watch it with subtitles,” another fan wrote.

Train to Busan is amazing all by itself,” one fan tweeted. “There doesn’t need to be a US version when the original is a masterpiece.”

‘Train to Busan’ remake director responds to criticism online

'Train to Busan' movie poster.
‘Train to Busan’ movie poster | Jung-Yeon-JE/AFP Getty Images

Indonesian filmmaker Timo Tjahjanto will direct the remake. He was named the director when the film was first announced. Tjahjanto responded to some fans that disapproved of the American remake. 

Tjahjanto tweeted: “When your @ is suddenly filling up & it’s more about the Train to Busan remake. 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 ?”

The director went on to praise Wan, who will produce the Train to Busan remake. “Needed to add that James has been my hero since my college days,” the director added. “As a Southeast 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 a lot of us SEA genre doofus.”

Wan has directed and produced horror films such as Insidious, The Conjuring, and Malignant. Tjahjanto has directed Indonesian horror flicks May the Devil Take You and The Night Comes for Us. Gary Dauberman (It, It: Chapter Two) will write the screenplay. New Line Cinema will release the project. A release date has not been made public yet.

RELATED: ‘Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula’ Movie Review — Con of the Dead