Bong Joon-ho heads Snowpiercer’s American TV adaptation
It was recently announced that critically acclaimed dystopian film Snowpiercer may be adapted into an American cable show on TNT. The one-hour pilot episode is in production now, and if it is well-received, the series may receive a full season order. Bong Joon-ho (Sea Fog) and Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden), who were the original director-producer team for the movie, have agreed to return to be executive producers for the TV show.
The film starring Song Kang-ho (The Age of Shadows), Chris Evans (Captain America: Civil War), Go Ah-sung (Heard It Through the Grapevine), and Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange) was set in a dystopian reality where climate change has caused the earth to become uninhabitable. The last of humanity is aboard a perpetual-motion train where a rigid class hierarchy is imposed, with the rich elite at the luxurious front end and the disenfranchised poor living in the squalor of the back. It was based on a French comic book series called Le Transperceneige. With a $40 million-budget, Snowpiercer is still the most expensive Korean production to date.
There was some controversy surrounding the sci-fi thriller’s release in the U.S. The Weinstein Company had bought distribution rights from CJ Entertainment, intending for widespread theater release. However, Harvey Weinstein wanted to cut twenty minutes from the 126-minute film to make it more suitable for American audiences, and director Bong Joon-ho disagreed. Eventually, the director got his way, but the movie was distributed through another company for a more limited release in the U.S. Overall, film critics loved the movie and its unique depiction of class struggles.
For the American television adaptation, Josh Friedman will be creating the screenplay. He has a history of writing popular dystopian sci-fi projects including the show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the film War of the Worlds. Based on his statements, we don’t know if any of the characters from the movie will be returning for the show, or whether just the premise will be the same. Tomorrow Studios, Turner (a Time Warner subsidiary), and CJ Entertainment will be collaborating to create the pilot episode.
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