Despite the Weinstein Company’s best efforts, Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer became one of last year’s most encouraging international sleeper hits. Now, Tomorrow Studios and The Sarah Connor Chronicles writer/producer Josh Friedman are adapting its dystopic story, set on a train that houses the only human survivors of a manmade ice age, for TV.
Both Bong and Park Chan-wook, who was a producer on the film, are already on board as EPs, and Tomorrow’s Marty Adelstein is talking it up as “an expansive, high-concept project.” Friedman certainly seems to understand what made viewers go wild for Snowpiercer in the first place: “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?”
What remains to be seen is whether a shrewdly directed, visually beautiful film (adapted from the Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette’s graphic novel Le Transperceneige) that literally traced a path from the back of the impoverished train, through its privileged middle, and into the lair of the greedy capitalist at its helm can fuel an ongoing, small-screen story. To succeed, the TV series is going to need more complex characters and better dialogue than its source material — but if Friedman can manage that and a network picks up the project, the show could be great. (A Tilda Swinton cameo wouldn’t hurt either.)