Bong Joon-ho’s (The Host) English language debut, the post-apocalyptic adventure Snowpiercer is in the gradual process of opening in theaters worldwide. North American audiences still have no clue when the film will grace our own movie screens, but after opening in the Mother director’s native South Korea, the movie is playing in some European markets, with more to follow shortly. Snowpiercer is based on French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige, and recently premiered in France. Now we have a fancy new international poster to go along with that impending release.
Snowpiercer is the story of a near future where attempts to reverse global climate change kick off a new ice age. The only survivors are contained inside of a train, powered by a perpetual motion engine, that endlessly circles the frozen wastes. Within these tight confines space and resources are limited, and a strict class system develops. This creates tension that eventually boils over into full-blown violent revolution. So far most of the art and pictures we’ve seen have focused on the passengers and discrepancy of the living conditions between rich and poor—the wealthy live a life of plenty, whereas the rest dwell in filth and despair. There have been a lot of grubby faces. This poster, however, takes a different approach.
Instead of focusing on the squalid living conditions that exist inside of the train, this image gives you a look beyond those metal walls. The image look very similar to some of the concept art we’ve seen, and shows the speeding train rocketing through the snow covered remains of Earth. You see what they have to deal with outside, the barren, unlivable conditions, and you begin to understand why they subject themselves to living in a moving tin can.
Released in Korean in early August, Snowpiercer proceeded to smash through existing box office records there, and has gathered glowing reviews and accolades from almost every critical outlet that has laid eyes on the film. Despite the raves—the word masterpiece has been bandied about quite a bit—there is still some controversy. Reports began circulating that The Weinstein Company was demanding that 20 minutes worth of story and character development be cut out of the two-hour film in order to make it easily palatable to American audiences.
How this all shakes remains to be seen. Bong has said that he is working on a new cut of the film, though in his most recent statement to the press, he said that nothing is set in stone at this juncture, and that there is a very real chance we could see the full film. Perhaps it is just the evolution of the story, or perhaps TWC’s stance on the edits have softened as the film continues to receive praise around the globe, but over time it does seem like the likelihood of North American audiences getting Bong’s pure vision has increased.