The R-Rated Disney+ Dark Sci-Fi Thriller With A Marvel Superstar

By Zack Zagranis | Published


Before Parasite, director Bong Joon Ho took on classism with the help of Captain America and Thomas the Tank Engine. Snowpiercer is the best R-rated dystopian train thriller ever made—not that there’s much competition, but even if it were a popular genre, Snowpiercer would still stand out. The 2013 Chris Evans vehicle—pun definitely intended—took swings at everything from the 1% to climate change without ever feeling overly preachy.

Snowpiercer On Disney+

chris evans snowpiercer

If you’ve somehow never taken a ride on Snowpiercer‘s futuristic locomotive, you owe it to yourself to buy a ticket and hop on board.

The movie is now available to stream on Disney+ through the app’s Hulu section. Just remember that the Hulu part of Disney+ is currently in beta, and access requires a subscription to both streaming services.

Snowpiercer tells the tale of a world where the powers that be overshot the mark when trying to reverse climate change and accidentally freeze the Earth.

A New Ice Age

best dystopian movies

This new ice age kills off all life on the planet except for those aboard a high-tech train called the Snowpiercer. What’s left of society quickly forms a new class system where the poor and disabled are confined to the back of the train, and the rich and privileged reside at the front.

After 17 years of traveling the same loop, the disenfranchised lower-class passengers on Snowpiercer start a revolution. The rebels force their way car, by car to the front of the train in an effort to topple the 1% and redistribute the train’s resources fairly.

Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, And More

Snowpiercer is a melting pot of sorts. The concept began life in 1982 as a French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige, before being adapted into a movie starring an American and co-produced by Korea and The Czech Republic. The movie also marks Bong Joon-ho’s first English-language film.

Bong directed the movie based on a screenplay he co-wrote with Kelly Masterson. Along with Marvel mainstay Chris Evans, Snowpiercer stars Bong Joon-ho favorite, Song Kang-ho (Parasite), and fellow Marvel alum Tilda Swinton (Dr. Strange).

Several other high-profile actors fill out the rest of the cast.

Adapting The Novel

Bong got the idea to make Snowpiercer after stumbling across Le Transperceneige at a comic book shop. Bong liked the graphic novel’s concept but quickly realized he needed his own take if he was going to adapt it into a film.

“I had to come up with a completely new story and new characters in order to create a new, dynamic Snowpiercer that was packed with cinematic exhilaration.” the director was once quoted as saying.

In 2007, fellow director Park Chan-wook’s production company Moho Film acquired the rights to adapt Snowpiercer for Bong. The screenplay for the movie wouldn’t be completed until years later, in 2010.

Chris Evans would join the project in 2012, with Tilda Swinton following close behind. The majority of the film was shot in Prague at Barrandov Studios over the course of 72 days.

Getting Snowpiercer Made


Snowpiercer had a reported budget of $42 million—the largest budget of all time for a film with Korean investors.

The Weinstein Company acquired the distribution rights to the film for North America, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The infamous Harvey Weinstein butted heads with Bong over the length of the movie, demanding that the director cut roughly half an hour out of the film.

Bong was reluctant to hack up his baby, and eventually, Weinstein relented. The notoriously petty film mogul made sure to get the last laugh, however, when he switched the movie’s distribution to Radius-TWC, a boutique indie label that fell under The Weinstein Company banner.

This would limit the film to a small release, mostly in art house cinemas.

Snowpiercer’s Success

Despite Weinstein’s efforts to handicap the film, Snowpiercer grossed almost $87 million worldwide—more than double its budget. Meanwhile, critics loved the film, which has a 94% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie is regarded as one of the best dystopian sci-fi films of the new millennium and spawned a 2020 Television series. The TV version of Snowpiercer again follows its own narrative separate from the film and the graphic novel.

If you’re looking for a movie with an environmental message that also boasts an “eat the rich” aesthetic and plenty of fun action, you can’t go wrong with Snowpiercer. The movie is currently streaming on Disney+ by way of the streamer’s Hulu section.