Here’s a little trick for you: want to know what the next high-profile Hollywood genre film will be? Look no further than the South Korean film market. Over the past few years, South Korea has become a breeding ground for Hollywood remakes and adaptations, with 2016’s “Train to Busan” serving as a perfect case study. Moving carefully between horror, action, and drama, Yeon Sang-ho‘s tale of a father who will stop at nothing to protect his daughter in the midst of a zombie apocalypse was an instant smash hit, setting the all-time box office record in Hong Kong and ending the year on countless horror Top 10 lists (ours included!). And it wasn’t long before an English-language remake was in the works, with French studio Gaumont winning a bidding war for the rights last December.
So even though production are only just starting on the director’s latest movie, feel free to circle it as a future Hollywood remake in 2020 or 2021. According to ScreenDaily, the film, titled “Psychokinesis,” tells the story of “an ordinary guy who suddenly finds he has superpowers he can use to help his spirited daughter and the people around them, but also runs into trouble in the process.” The theme of an ordinary guy stuck in an extraordinary situation is a hallmark of South Korean cinema; take one part Alfred Hitchcock and two parts Quentin Tarantino, and you might come close to approximating the twisting turns (and dark violence) of the country’s recent rash of crime thrillers. A story centered on the relationship between father and daughter is also a natural fit for Yeon Sang-ho’s most recent film, which — at times — felt more like a social thriller about the dangers of absentee parenting than a movie about flesh-eating undead.
“Psychokineses” will also reunite the filmmaker with previous collaborators like Ryu Seung-ryong (“Seoul Station“) and Jung Yu-mi (“Train to Busan“). In a statement, the director said that he is “honored to be working with these good actors and staff again,” and that he would “make a good film that lives up to everyone’s expectations.” Good luck with that; expectations have never been higher.