The Korean zombie film Train to Busan became a runaway success upon its release in 2016. And director Yeon Sang-ho is currently working on Peninsula. An unconventional sequel set four years after the events of the first movie that follows entirely different characters. Now the first images of Peninsula have arrived, and the filmmaker has shared more details about his more ambitious follow-up. And teased that another movie set in this cinematic universe might happen one day. One which explains how the zombie outbreak started in the first place.
ScreenDaily has the first photos from Peninsula. As well as a fascinating interview with director Yeon Sang-ho. You can head over there to see all three images and read the full interview. But here’s what you need to know.
The Reason for the Title
“[Peninsula] takes place four years after Train To Busan, in the same universe, but it doesn’t continue the story and has different characters,” Yeon said, echoing information we wrote about last month. But he offered some new info, too: “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.”. This one follows a former soldier named Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won), who escaped the outbreak but is given a mission to go back into Korea, which is now “a zombie-infested wasteland turned into a ghetto by other nations trying to stop the spread of the virus.”. When he tries to complete his mission and retrieve something to bring out of the wasteland. He unexpectedly meets up with some non-infected survivors who are still in Seoul.
Gang Dong-won will lead a cast comprised of several other actors. But from the sound of it, none will be more important than child actress Lee Re; Yeon thinks she will become “more [popular] than Ma Dong-seok [aka Don Lee] in Train To Busan“, the fan-favorite actor of the first movie and easily the film’s best character.
A Bigger Follow-Up
The budget for Peninsula is $16 million, almost double the $8.5 million that Train to Busan cost. And while the original movie put its comparatively paltry budget to great use. It seems as if this one is expanding the scope a great deal. “The scale of Peninsula can’t compare to Train To Busan. It makes it look like an independent film,” Yeon told ScreenDaily. “Train To Busan was a high-concept film shot in narrow spaces whereas Peninsula has a much wider scope of movement.”
Could We See Another Prequel One Day?
Before directing Train to Busan, Yeon helmed Seoul Station. An animated story set earlier during the zombie outbreak which was held for release until after Train to Busan became a big hit and marketed as a prequel. The director has not yet revealed exactly what caused the fictional outbreak… Though it sounds like he’s been thinking about exploring that some day. “I’ve thought about dealing with that question in another film, which probably I won’t direct myself,” Yeon said. Although he admits he once said something similar about directing a possible Train to Busan sequel. “There are a lot of interesting questions you could answer, issue by issue, with other films.”
Peninsula is currently set for a summer release in South Korea. But it remains to be seen whether that release date will hold due to the coronavirus.