Snowpiercer is decidedly one of the weirdest action movies to come out within the past few years. Set entirely within the claustrophobic confines of a moving train, the film takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where the wealthy inhabit the luxurious cars in the front while the poor are all crammed in the back like cattle. In November of 2015, it was announced that a Snowpiercer TV show was potentially in the works, as writer Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) was penning an adaptation. Now, almost exactly a year later, that hypothetical project may finally become a reality, as TNT has officially acquired Friedman's script and ordered a pilot episode of the Snowpiercer series, according to TVLine.
Of course, just because TNT is going to produce a pilot doesn't guarantee that they will ultimately pick it up to series — but it's an encouraging step in the right direction for a project that has been sitting in limbo without a network for many months. And while it's highly unlikely that TNT will be able to score Captain America star Chris Evans to reprise his role as the rebellious Curtis, fans of the movie have to be wondering exactly what Friedman has done with the film. Is his TV adaptation a sequel to the film, a prequel, a remake, or a complete reboot?
Yes, the film ended with (spoiler alert!) the titular train derailing and crashing, killing almost everyone onboard. But two passengers survived (mysterious Yona and little Timmy), and, as they emerged from the wreckage, they saw a polar bear in the distance — proof that life still existed in the frozen post-apocalyptic wilderness. The TV show could conceivably track their attempts to find other signs of civilization and their efforts to rebuild society… as well as the revelation that there's a second train out there circumnavigating Wilford's intercontinental railroad.
Or the TNT show could retell the events of the 2013 film in a slower, more episodic format — perhaps with the show advancing to one fantastical new train car each week — rather than rushing through the entire rebellion in two hours. Or it would be a complete reboot of the story, more closely adapting the source material on which the movie was based, the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, including the characters and plot points (such as a deadly virus infecting the citizens of the train) that were left out of Bong Joon-ho's feature film version.
But TVLine's report on the Snowpiercer pilot hints that Friedman has decided to take a different approach. "Set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, Snowpiercer will explore 'class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival' as it follows the remnants of humanity as they inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe," TVLine wrote. According to information relayed in the 2013 film, the environmental catastrophe that brought on the apocalyptic ice age took place in 2014; if the television series takes place "seven years after" that event, that would place it in 2021. However, the film took place in the year 2031, an entire decade later. So it looks very much like Friedman's Snowpiercer will actually be a prequel to the film.
Perhaps the TV show will center around Gilliam (the character played by John Hurt in the film) and his clash with Wilford (Ed Harris) that is referenced throughout the film. Perhaps we'll see a younger version of Evans' character, Curtis, whose tragic past is an important (and gruesome) plot point in the movie. Maybe we'll even get the backstory behind Tilda Swinton's quirky and despicable Minister Mason — although it's hard to imagine anyone doing a Tilda Swinton character justice other Swinton herself.
Whether the Snowpiercer show will be a direct prequel leading up to the events of the film, or whether it will simply take place on the same train 10 years earlier with a whole new cast of characters, remains to be seen. Hopefully TNT will do the right thing and pick the pilot up to series so we can find out.
Images: The Weinstein Company (2)