In 2016, animator Yeon Sang-ho‘s live-action directorial debut Train to Busan became a global sensation, with critics hailing the taut zombie thriller as one of the best horror movies of the decade. But Yeon never forgot his animation roots, directing an animated prequel to Train to Busan, Seoul Station, which chronicled the beginning of the zombie plague that devastates South Korea. Yeon is planning to dive back into the animation realm again, with an animated sequel to Train to Busan, which acts as a prequel to his Train to Busan follow-up, Peninsula. And though Peninsula just hit VOD and select theaters today, Yeon is already deep into working on this animated Train to Busan sequel.
Yeon is already working on an animated prequel to Peninsula, his highly anticipated follow-up to 2016’s smash hit Train to Busan, the filmmaker revealed to Polygon. Yeon said:
“A prequel to Peninsula: we are currently in talks about making a cartoon about the relationship between Unit 631 and Min-jung. I am hopeful that the story can be further expanded upon through the less inhibited cartoon medium.”
This animated Peninsula prequel would be a departure from his Train to Busan animated prequel, which followed a different group of (far less likable) characters rather than the ones we grow attached to in the 2016 film. As such, Seoul Station didn’t leave quite as much of an impression as Train to Busan. By expanding on the stories of lead characters in Peninsula — in this case, Lee Jung-hyun’s Min-jung, the mother of two young girls who rescue Gang Dong-won’s protagonist Jung-seok — this animated prequel could be more compelling.
Both Peninsula and Train to Busan are distinctive because they take place outside of the parameters of the typical zombie outbreak movie — for Peninsula, it’s after the zombie apocalypse has devastated Korea, for Train to Busan, it’s on a small, claustrophobic space that gets wind of the outbreak too late. The image of a post-apocalyptic backdrop specifically appealed to Yeon, who got the idea while researching Train to Busan by touring abandoned train stations.
“After Train to Busan, I talked a lot about a post-apocalyptic backdrop with the staff that accompanied me to the various locations,” Yeon said. “So, I thought if I were to make a sequel to Train to Busan, I wanted to portray a devastated Korea in a post-apocalyptic movie.”
From that idea came the image of “a young child driving a dump truck in the ruined Korea,” which led to Peninsula. But with the prequel, Yeon will get to further explore that post-apocalyptic landscape, hopefully to better success than Seoul Station.
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