‘Train to Busan’ English-Language Remake Rights Go to Gaumont

Train to Busan Cannes Film Festival
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Hit Korean zombie film “Train to Busan” will be remade in English by French studio Gaumont.

The deal was unveiled Wednesday jointly by Gaumont and the film’s Korean distributor-financier Next Entertainment World. The film premiered in the midnight screening section of the Cannes festival in May and attracted immediate sales and remake interest. Fox and Sony were among the Hollywood studios known to have pursued a deal. Bidders also included Studiocanal and EuropaCorp, two French companies that regularly produce English-language genre fare.

“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 NEW.

In Korea, the film was seen as an allegory for the turbulent political situation currently gripping the coountry, and became a smash hit. Now the year’s top grossing film, it has amassed $80.5 million since its July release.

Related Content Sony, Fox Trying to Catch Remake of Korea’s ‘Train to Busan’

The original film, directed by animator Yeon Sang-ho making his live-action debut, was set inside a high-speed train from Seoul to Busan. Sources close to the deal told Variety that political allegories of a different kind may emerge.

Gaumont’s CEO Sidonie Dumas said the company had been “chasing the remake since Cannes Film Festival where the whole team loved it so much.”

“We’re excited to start working on the U.S. adaptation that will mark our first foray into English-language moviemaking in Los Angeles,” added Dumas.

Key staff, cast and production schedules have not yet been confirmed.

Cecile Gaget, Gaumont’s head of international production and distribution who negotiated the deal with Danny Lee and Vincent Kim at Contents Panda, said Gaumont is currently packaging the film and has already been approached by several Hollywood talent agencies and prominent directors.

Related

Train to Busan Cannes Film Festival

Film Review: ‘Train to Busan’

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 “Night 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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  1. Joe thayer says:

    Oh boy, time for Hollywood to ruin a great film by “Americanizing” it.

  2. Cameron says:

    I mean, The Interview turned out to be a hit and there was nothing good about it. Fast and Furious was a hit. Any recent movie I didn’t like was hit, so why wouldn’t this be a blockbuster?

  3. daniela says:

    Just watch the original film!!!! Rent it or buy it itunes why make an unnecessary remake when the original version already has everything we could ask for.

  4. Heidi says:

    Nothing new, America doing remakes lmao and a downgraded one too. They can’t replicate the feelings and actors nor the unique scene transitions that is typical Korean.

  5. Josh says:

    US directors doing what they do best: Ripping off other culture’s content (eyeroll). Not to mention the entire cast probably won’t even represent the american demographic…

  6. The US is a very odd choice for the setting of the film. It has no bullet or fast trains, which appears to be a crucial element of the plot of the film. Why not set it in Europe instead?

  7. WritR says:

    Just watch the damn original. Screaming in the wind, I know – but so frustrating that this brilliant film needs to be remade (dumbed down, turned into a PG-13 pale imitation of the original.) But $$$$$$ – yep, so let’s go for it. Hope it bombs in the biggest way.

  8. Really looking forward to seeing this develop… such fantastic source material with huge potential.

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