If you’ve been keeping up with us here at GFR then you’ve probably noticed quite a bit of chatter about Bong Joon-ho’s upcoming English-language debut, Snowpiercer. So far we’ve seen bleak concept art and even a bit of the tense, moody score. The film is expected to drop later this year — some have speculated after a debut at Cannes — and now we have the first official photograph from the sci-fi thriller.
The picture shows Song Kang-ho, who has starred in a number of Bong’s earlier films, like The Host and Memories of Murder. You see a scruffy, grubby Song and a child amidst the miserable squalor of an overcrowded train car.
Set in 2031, Snowpiercer is the story of a world where failed experiments to halt global warming kicked off a new global ice age. The deep freeze kills off every living thing on the planet, except for a group of survivors that endlessly circle the frozen wastes inside of a perpetual motion-driven train. Within the cars, a rigid class system develops, but a storm of revolution brews among the lower caste.
From all appearances, you probably guessed that Song and his child are not part of the ruling elite. Unless they’re slumming it for kicks, but that’s doubtful. This image gives you a good idea of the living conditions for the poorer segment of the population. It isn’t difficult to imagine resentment building. There are strong similarities between this still and the concept art, so let’s hope the exteriors in the film also match the design, because they look pretty incredible.
Snowpiercer features a stellar international cast that includes Sang, Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer, and Ewen Bremner, and Alison Pill.