Everyone is self-medicating through outbreak and zombie movies amid the coronavirus pandemic—either in an attempt to quell worries that at least COVID-19 doesn’t cause zombification, or to sadistically survey the unfortunate parallels within our society. So it appears that now is as good of a time as ever for Yeon Sang-ho to share the details of the forthcoming spiritual sequel to his 2016 K-zombie movie Train to Busan.
The movie, called Peninsula, will survey the damage of the zombie outbreak in Korea four years after the events depicted in Train to Busan occurred. However the characters from the original film will not be expanded upon.
“It takes place four years after Train To Busan, in the same universe, but it doesn’t continue the story and has different characters,” said Sang-ho in an interview with ScreenDaily. “Government authority has been decimated after the zombie outbreak in Korea, and there is nothing left except the geographical traits of the location—which is why the film is called Peninsula.”
It appears that Train to Busan was just the beginning of an emerging cinematic universe, which is thrilling for fans of the original movie, but a daunting task for the director.
“The idea of being able to build a post-apocalyptic world—which would be sort of savage but also in a way like ancient times, or like ruined modern times, with rules of its own—was interesting to me,” continued Sang-ho. “There could be many stories that could keep coming out of that world. Destroyed, isolated, extreme, but with hope of escape and humanism, and the way world powers would look at this place. There could be a lot of material with a lot of greater significance.”
Peninsula will star Gang Dong-won, a soldier who manages to escape the zombie-infected peninsula formerly known as South Korea. When he and his platoon return to the post-apocalyptic wasteland for a mission, they find a group of survivors—and, of course, more zombies. Also starring in the film is Lee Jung-hyun, Lee Re, Kwon Hae-hyo, Kim Min-jae, Koo Kyo-hwan, and Lee Ye Won.
Song-ho also noted the amplified interest in South Korean cinema on a global level, in part due to streaming platforms such as Netflix and the historic success of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite.
“Before, the way a Korean director would ‘go to the US’ would be to go make an American film with American actors in English,” said Sang-ho. “Now, with multiple platforms like Netflix burgeoning and the most recent effect of Parasite, everything has changed. I think the role of the films that come next will be very important. Just because Parasite was a success doesn’t mean we need another Parasite. We could see more diversified interest for, say, a Korean-style blockbuster or Korean independent films. It’s just breaking through a wall once that is difficult.”
No release date has been scheduled for Peninsula just yet, however it will be distributed by Go Well USA in America. Train to Busan is currently on Netflix, for those interested! Check out the trailer for the original movie below.