Note: This story contains potential spoilers
Zombie apocalypse thrillers remain an unexplored territory in the South Korean film industry until the release of Train to Busan. Following its premiere in July, the film continues to generate buzz across the globe. Making the film wasn’t easy, but lead actor Gong Woo is open to the idea of Train to Busan 2.
The film had a bittersweet ending because Gong Woo’s character got infected. Nonetheless, because of his sacrifice, his daughter was able to survive. Gong Woo told Soompi that Train to Busan 2 could probably revolve around the life of his character as a zombie.
“I talked about this with Director Yeon Sang Ho, and I said that I thought my character Seok Woo might be living somewhere as a zombie. But Director Yeon said that when Seok Woo fell off the train, he broke his neck and died.”
The actor also told the publication that filming his fight scenes with the zombies proved to be challenging – something that took him by surprise.
“I’ve filmed realistic action films before so I thought they were doable, but fighting with the zombies was extremely complicated. Even if I try to match their movements, their bodies are always convulsing and their arms twisted, so when they attack it’s hard to take it from the receiving end. It’s also difficult to figure out where to hit them during fight scenes because zombies are always moving.”
Kim Soo-ahn, the star who played Gong Woo’s daughter in the film, told Korean Film Biz Zone that they sometimes need to do more than 20 takes because their actions must complement the CGI work that would be added at a later time.
It is director Yeon Sang Ho’s first time to helm a live action film for he used to do animated films. He admitted that he felt pressure at first because live films call for many tasks, but he’s grateful that the production team gave him a “big helping hand.”
Despite the success of Train to Busan, the director does not plan to let go of his roots. He even made an animated prequel to the film entitled Seoul Station.
Last month, it was confirmed that several international studios have expressed interest to remake the zombie blockbuster. Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox are reportedly in a bidding war for the film’s rights.
Train to Busan was produced by Korean firm Next Entertainment World (NEW) but its international rights affairs are being handled by Contents Panda. Senior manager Danny Lee told The Hollywood Reporter that the film started to receive offers following the Cannes Film Festival.
“Several major Hollywood studios as well as top French and European companies have made inquiries about remake rights, with some even making offers. There has been a lot of interest since the film received positive reviews at the Cannes Film Festival in May. It is currently doing very well in the local box office, so we are in no rush to make deals right away.”
Other companies reportedly vying for the rights include Canal Plus, Gaumont, and Europa Corp. According to Lee, French filmmakers are interested to create their version of the film because “bullet trains are a big part of daily life there, as in Korea.”
Meanwhile, Gong Yoo’s latest film, The Age of Shadows, has also topped the Korean box office after its release on Sept. 7. The film is about the lives of Korean patriots during the Japanese Occupation Era in the country.
Gong Yoo plays the role of a pseudo art dealer who is actually the leader of a group determined to overthrow the Japanese occupants. The film will premiere in the US on Sept. 23.
[Featured Image by Next Entertainment World]