The Train to Busan’s upcoming English-language remake sparked some online discourse this weekend, as many cinephiles began discussing whether a remake was needed for the acclaimed zombie movie or any foreign films in general. Seeing the criticism, director Timo Tjahjanto (The Night Comes For Us) decided to weigh in on the conversation personally, tweeting his response to detractors.
Train to Busan is a South Korean horror movie that takes place on a high-speed train from Seoul to Busan during a sudden zombie apocalypse. Directed by Yeon Sang-ho and released back in 2016, the film received critical praise and currently holds an impressive 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. Seeing the original movie’s success, Gaumount acquired the rights to an English remake back in 2016. In February this year, Collider reported that Tjahjanto would be directing the said remake, with James Wan (The Conjuring) on board to produce.
However, many moviegoers aren’t happy about the news, and took to social media to tweet their displeasure about the remake. But the director seems unfazed by all the online scrutiny and influx of heated mentions on his timeline, as he offered his take on the issue, and shared some words of encouragement he received from fellow filmmaker James Wan.
Tjahjanto tweeted: “When your @ is suddenly filling up & its more about 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?”
When your @ is suddenly filling up & its more about 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 ? pic.twitter.com/39eeBJu4bO
— Timo Tjahjanto (@Timobros) August 29, 2021
The director makes some good points. English remakes are nothing new. The Ring (2002), a remake of Hideo Nakata’s Ringu (1998), famously popularised Japanese horror for a western audience, and helped globalise cinema. Remakes can be done and done well.
However, similarly, the remakes detractors also bring up a valid argument. Films have become more international since the early 2000s, and subtitled movies have become common fixtures in recent years. This begs the need to question why should movies get a language, and culture remake in general?
We are curious to see how Tjahjanto will make this Train to Busan remake his own, and if he can convert some of the film’s sceptics to his way of thinking. Currently, the movie is still in pre-production, with no release date lined up. We will keep you updated as soon as we know more information. Tjahjanto is also working on a new film with Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, of Doctor Strange fame.
In the meantime, why not get your heart racing with our list of the best thriller movies of all time.