Bong Joon-ho’s latest film Parasite was the talk of the town earlier this year, having been showered with awards across the globe, including the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and, most recently, the coveted Best Picture Oscar.
Now, another of his films – 2013’s Snowpiercer – is getting a small-screen adaptation, with Bong himself serving as an executive producer.
A synopsis for the series reads: “Earth has frozen over and the last surviving humans live on a giant train circling the globe, struggling to coexist amid the delicate balance onboard.”
The show has been a long time in the making, with Tomorrow Studios first acquiring the rights to remake Bong’s movie back in 2015.
The pilot episode was originally directed by Scott Derrickson – the man behind Marvel movie Doctor Strange, although he refused to return for re-shoots following a change in showrunner – claiming that “the feature-length pilot I made… may be my best work.”
Here’s all you need to know about the dystopian sci-fi thriller…
Snowpiercer TV show on Netflix: When is it out?
The show is airing in the United States on American network TNT from 17th May.
The first two episodes will be added to Netflix for fans in the UK and elsewhere in the world on Monday 25th May, with the remaining eight instalments arriving weekly thereafter. Here’s a guide to the full Snowpiercer release schedule.
Snowpiercer movie: Is the TV show based on a movie?
Of course, the TV show is passed partially on the aforementioned Bong Joon-ho film of the same name – which boasted an all-star cast including Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton – but the original source material can actually be traced back further.
Just like the film, the series takes its inspiration from the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette.
Snowpiercer cast: Who stars in the series?
The film version boasted an enviable cast including some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and although the TV cast isn’t quite as high profile, it nonetheless includes some big names.
Daveed Diggs, best known for playing Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in hit stage musical Hamilton, plays the show’s lead Andre Layton, while Jennifer Connolly (Alita: Battle Angel) plays Melanie Cavill, a first class passenger and the Voice of the Train.
The cast also includes Mickey Sumner (Frances Ha), Annaline Basso (The Red Road) and Alison Wright (The Americans).
Young actor Jaylin Fletcher also stars, playing a character who he describes as “a very optimistic, intelligent, and talented person in the worst setting known as the tail.”
You can read our full Snowpiercer review to find out what RadioTimes.com thought of the series.
The first season currently holds a 64 per cent “Fresh” rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, with a critics consensus that reads: “Snowpiercer takes a different route with its source material, crafting an ambitious sci-fi mystery with style to spare, but with little of the subversive bite of Bong Joon-ho’s theatrical adaptation.”
You can take a look at what to expect below.
A second more recent trailer gave a little more detail, specifically for viewers on Netflix:
And a third and final full length trailer was released on 14th May 2020, as the countdown to the show’s premiere continues…
What is Snowpiercer about?
As was the case in the big screen version, the show takes place on-board a huge train which is constantly in motion, carrying its passengers round and round an Earth that has been reduced to a frozen wasteland due to climate catastrophe.
Those on the train represent the last surviving remnants of humanity, and are sorted into a cruel and rigid class system which allows for vast inequality and little social mobility – naturally leading to a great deal of tension.
The TV series, however tells a different story than the film – focusing largely on a member of the tail section of the train who is approached to help solve a murder.
One of the show’s stars, Jaylin Fletcher, told RadioTimes.com, “The film and the show have some similarities but the TV show has its own storyline and has some pretty good surprises.”
If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.