Before Snowpiercer the TV series, starring Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs that debuted on TNT May 17th, there was Snowpiercer the movie, directed by South Korean master and 2020 Academy Award for Best Film winner Bong Joon-ho. As often is the case with these adaptations from big to small screen, we recommend to stick with the film.
Already a well-established director in his home country, Bong had mastered the art of cross-genre (specifically sci-fi / horror / thriller / crime / comedy / monster) in films like Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000), Memories of a Murder (2003), The Host (2006), and Mother (2009).
Earlier this year, his multiple award-winning Parasite made him an internationally revered king of black comedy and social satire. With their wild stories and characters ranging from realistic to unreal, his cutting parables still evoke the weird socioeconomic dynamics of a very familiar world, poking at it.
"Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films," Bong Joon-ho memorably said in his Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film this past January, sending chills along the spine of film lovers across the world.
One premiere example of his artistic vision is Snowpiercer (2013) about a merciless class system that emerges when climate-devastation survivors get stuck on an infinite-loop train shuttling around a dystopian Earth. It's a savage ride, as those trapped in the back of the train move forth against the upper class.
Snowpiercer's star-studded cast includes John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans, Ed Harris, Octavia Spencer, and (Bong's frequent collaborator/muse, and star of Parasite) Song Kang-ho. The director also co-wrote the screenplay, which is based on the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette.
The fascinating yet terrifying worlds of Terry Gilliam's films (like 12 Monkeys, Brazil, and The Zero Theorem) served as inspiration for Snowpiercer's chilling world; note the late Sir John Hurt's spiritual guide character "Gilliam." Audiences can also look for references to The Shining with the clairvoyant character Yona, played by Ko Asung (the hero of The Host).
Snowpiercer can be watched on several platforms. Among them: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play and YouTube.