Eventually North America is going to see a release of Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s (The Host) English-language debut, the post-apocalyptic adventure Snowpiercer. We assume. When exactly remains to be seen, since the filmmakers are in a battle over The Weinstein Company’s demands that 20-minutes worth of story and character development be cut from the 120-minute film. While that sorts itself out, the movie is opening around the world—next up is France—and there is a badass new poster to show you.
Based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, Snowpiercer is set in the near future after attempts to reverse global warming kick off a new ice age. The only survivors live inside a train that endlessly circles the frozen wastes, powered by a perpetual motion engine. Within these confines a rigid caste system develops, separating the rich, who live at the front, and the desolate poor, who dwell in darkness near the tail. As you can imagine, this leads to conflict, which erupts into full-blown rebellion. The “We Move Forward” on this poster references the journey the rebels must make from the rear of the train up to the front to seize the engine, and thus control.
This is a simple, grim, gloomy poster, that captures both the look and feel of Snowpiercer. The subdued nature of the image is also a welcome change from the gaudy, crowded, over the top one-sheets we see for so damn many movies. Those feel like an assault on your eyes, with tons of random crap flying at your face. Instead, this opts for a spare and subdued approach, not cluttered and chaotic.
With an all-star international cast that features the likes of Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Song Kang-ho, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris, among many more, Snowpiercer has been garnering rave reviews as it opens around the world. Back in August, the film smashed box office records when it opened in Korea.
From the outset, when we heard about TWC’s request for cuts—which Harvey Weinstein himself said are because he thinks audiences in middle America are too dumb to grasp the film—Bong was diplomatic. He said that the edits weren’t a huge deal, and even, at times, sounded like he was just fine with the changes. Last we heard that stance had shifted, and sources near the Mother director let it slip that he may even be furious over alterations to his film. You’d be mad, too, if someone came in and messed with your baby, especially if people around the globe had been calling it things like “masterpiece.”
There’s still no word when we could see the slimmed down version of Snowpiercer. It opens a few places in Europe and Japan shortly, and Sweden gets a turn in February 2014. Hopefully we’ll hear before too awful long when we’ll finally be able to lay eyes on one of our most hotly anticipated films.