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SNOWPIERCER being adapted as TV series

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Celebrated Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer was easily one of the best movies of last year. Bong’s first English language film, it mixed Hollywood big studio production values and A-list casting with more non-mainstream ideas and execution make for one hell of a dystopian sci-fi ride. But thanks to its limited international release though, most of you probably didn’t see it. Don’t worry, you can (sort of) remedy that now… on TV.

THR is reporting that Tomorrow Studios has optioned the rights to adapt the feature film for TV. The studio has already tapped Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles showrunner and upcoming Avatar 2 screenwriter Josh Friedman as the writer for this new series. Friedman had this to say about the gig:

“I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity. [Tomorrow Studios] are the perfect partners to help me bring this world to TV. I’m a huge fan of director Bong’s films, especially Snowpiercer. It’s great the way the best sci-fi is great — thoughtful, political, funny, scary and sly. And it’s on a train. A big f—ing train. What more could you want?”

Bong’s Snowpiercer was based on a French graphic novel called Le Transperceneige and is set in the not too distant future, 17 years after an experiment to stop global warming had gone catastrophically wrong, engulfing the entire Earth in a killer new Ice Age. Nothing lives on the surface anymore, except for the society of survivors on a train – the Snowpiercer – which circles the globe continuously thanks to its creator’s endless engine.


Society on the train is heavily class based, with the order of superiority based on where your ancestors boarded the train. The people in the front of the massive kilometers-spanning train, up in first class, live lavish lives of decadence and opulence, with conditions getting exponentially worse the further back you go. In the film Chris Evans played Curtis, the leader of a rebellion of tail-enders – who live in abject poverty, forced to barely eke out a living, doing unspeakable things to survive – who decide to rise up and fight their way to the front of the train to claim the living conditions that they believe should be theirs as well. Along the way, lots of people die, so-called “heroes” are forced to do bad things, we get Tilda Swinton in ridiculous makeup turning in a stellar performance and all of it was steeped in heady societal allegory.

It’s unclear just how closely this TV series will stick to that story, whether it will be a reboot, or whether it will actually fit into the movie’s continuity. Bong himself is on-board to produce though, so he will have some involvement with it.


There’s also no word yet on any networks where this will air, which is actually a big deal. Snowpiercer was a VERY grim movie, filled with extreme violence and some truly shocking moments. This is not the type of story you would normally find on something like The CW. HBO, Starz, AMC and Netflix will all be great homes for it, if they keep the film’s aesthetic and tone. If they PG-13 this thing though, then it may not matter where it ends up, because I just can’t see them doing it justice then.

Here’s a trailer of the movie for those of you that either haven’t seen it or need a refresher.



Last Updated: November 12, 2015

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