Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer may be stalled at the station while the filmmaker and The Weinstein Company go back and forth over significant edits, but the graphic novel the film is based on is barreling towards us. For the first time, the French comic Le Transperceneige will be available in English, and, if the current lack of timetable sticks, it should be here well before the film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Titan Comics plans to release Snowpiercer in two chunks. The first, Volume 1: The Escape lands in stores everywhere on January 29 of next year, while Volume 2: The Explorers will arrive shortly thereafter on February 25, 2014. Depending on where you live, and what the weather is like, these releases may very well make for seasonally appropriate reading material.
Written by Jauques Lob and Benjamin Legrand, and illustrated by Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer is set in a future where attempts to reverse global climate change jump start a new ice global age. A train, powered by a perpetual motion engine, holds the only remaining life on Earth, and endlessly circles the frozen wastes. Over time, a rigid caste system develops among the surviving passengers. The wealthy live near the front, in well-lit, well-fed luxury, while the rest are crammed into the back, left to live in filth, darkness, and despair. As you can imagine, rebellion bubbles amidst these deplorable conditions, until one man finally leads a revolution to seize control of the train.
Bong’s adaptation of the comic features an all-star international cast headlined by Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, but also includes John Hurt, Ed Harris, Octavia Spencer, Song Kang-ho, Allison Pill, and a ton more. The call sheet alone should be enough to make you want to see this movie, but beyond that, it looks fantastic, grim, bleak, and violent, but never entirely without hope.
Though Snowpiercer continues to open to rave reviews around the globe—it set box office records when it was released in Korea back in August—a North American debut has yet to be scheduled as the Mother director and TWC try to come to terms on a significant collection of edits. Two versions of the film—one Bong’s, the other the Weinstein’s—have screened for audiences, with the director’s cut coming away with higher scores.
Hopefully the two sides can come to terms before too long. TWC is notorious for hacking up international features, and no matter good a fight Bong puts up, there aren’t many of us who actually believe we’ll see his version in theaters. On a positive note, Korean Blu-rays share a region code with North America, so if you can find one, it should play find in your player.