‘Train to Busan’ director hopes the remake is “a completely new creation”

The burning question that surrounds every remake of a well-known, acclaimed or classic movie is whether or not it even needs to exist. Sure, plenty of reimaginings or retreads have fully justified themselves, but there’s also been a great number that brought nothing new to the table other than a recognizable title.

Yeon Sang-Ho’s Train to Busan is getting an American-language do-over whether we like it or not, and based on the online reactions to the reveal that it could be going by the title Last Train to New York, a great number of people would be happy if the apocalyptic undead thriller was left well alone.

The filmmaker has already teased that he could be tempted to follow sequel Peninsula with a third installment, but in an interview with TIME, Sang-ho outlined his hopes that the Stateside version of Train to Busan stands on its own two feet as opposed to simply re-telling the same story.

“We use the expression or word ‘remake,’ but I do not think that a remake is something that you just apply more sophisticated technology to based on an original piece of work. I believe a remake should be a completely new creation. And as the creator of the original work, I do not think that there need to be similarities between the remake and the original Train to Busan. I actually hope that it will have its very own unique qualities and a new vision.

In fact, as the creator, if it was almost exactly interpreted compared to the original work, wouldn’t it be better to just watch the original Train to Busan? So I think that the new creation is definitely going to be something that holds the new director’s vision, and my personal hope is that the new remake will not really refer to or think too much about being loyal to the original work, but be a completely new creation.”


The presence of The Night Comes for Us and Headshot‘s Timo Tjahjanto as director is encouraging given his penchant for hard-hitting action and reputation for delivering solid genre thrills, and he’s clearly a fan of remakes after also signing on to HBO Max’s Under Siege, so there’s reason to be quietly optimistic when he takes his Train to Busan.