UPDATED, 4:40 PM: We’re hearing New Line Cinema has taken the pole position on acquiring the remake of Train to Busan, which Gary Dauberman will write and James Wan will produce alongside original rightsholder Gaumont.
Five studios have been in the mix on the hot property, a redo of the 2016 Korean apocalyptic zombie thriller, with Universal bowing out earlier and Paramount, Lionsgate and Screen Gems all circling with New Line. We understand New Line is now in negotiations which makes sense, as Dauberman wrote the studio’s Annabelle and is now directing the next installment there which he also scripted.
Wan’s Atomic Monster will be spearheading this, with Wan and president of production Micahel Clear producing along with Gaumont and Dauberman.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 12:18 AM: The hot package du jour is Train to Busan, a remake of the 2016 Korean film that Gary Dauberman will write and which James Wan will produce alongside Gaumont. Dauberman has a very hot hand, having scripted the recent hit The Nun, and coming on the heels of his script work on the Andy Muschietti-directed It and its sequel. I’m hearing that five bidders are circling or have made bids, and that the rights package will sell this week for a seven-figure sum. New Line, Universal (which just stepped out), Paramount, Lionsgate and Screen Gems are all in the mix.
The original was directed by San-ho Yeon and was a monster hit in South Korea, grossing $85 million overseas and only $2 million in the U.S. The setup: While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.
Though he’s not attached right now as director, Dauberman wrote Annabelle and is now directing the next installment which he also scripted. That films is at New Line, which is chasing this one like a zombie on a slow-moving human. Stay tuned.
Dauberman’s ICM Partners reps and Wan’s Paradigm reps are handling the deal.
Here is the trailer for the original: