French studio Gaumont has bought the rights to remake hit Korean zombie film, Train to Busan, into an English language film.
Among the bidders were Hollywood’s Fox and Sony, as well as Studiocanal and EuropaCorp, two French companies that regularly produce English-language genre productions. Gaumont spent up to the seven-figure mark to acquire the deal, caused by the major success of the film in Hong Kong.
Train to Busan premiered at the Cannes festival in May, attracting sales and remake interest. It opened in South Korea on July 22, 2016, generating $38.8 million its first five days. Since then, it has earned $81.3 million at home, with an additional $1.8 million in the United States on a limited release.
Gaumont’s CEO Sidonie Dumas stated that they have actively pursued the remake since the festival where the team fell in love with it. Next Entertainment World, the film’s original backer, stated they are happy to start business with Gaumont, one of the greatest companies with experience in terms of global projects, optimistic that this will help Korean films get more exposure around the world.
The acquisition is a part of Gaumont’s new ambition to expand its influence globally with French- and English- language movies, using their network of talent and producers they have created in the United States through their Los Angeles based international TV division, whose credits include Narcos and Hannibal. At this time, they are not planning on a French version even though they have the rights for it as well.
The apocalyptic thriller, considered one of the best zombie films released in quite a while, is directed by Yeon Sang-ho and takes place on a bullet train between Seoul to Busan. When virus-infected woman boards the train, passes it to an attendant, creating a zombie outbreak amongst the passengers, a healthy group try to hold them off before reaching the resort town of Busan. It stars Goon You, child actor Kim Su-an, Jun Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok, and Choi Wood-shik.
Train to Busan will be release early 2017.