Bong Joon-ho has long been heralded as one of the best filmmakers South Korea has to offer, consistently delivering with such modern classics as Memories of Murder, The Host and Mother. Now he is set to make his English-language debut with the long-gestating Snowpiercer, an adaptation of the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, and following underwhelming Hollywood debuts this year from fellow countryman Kim Ji-woon (The Last Stand) and Park Chan-wook (Stoker), here’s hoping this one doesn’t disappoint. Set in the year 2031 after a failed experiment to stop global warming has has brought about an apocalyptic ice age, the only survivors are the inhabitants of the ‘Snowpiercer’, a massive train that travels around the planet powered by a perpetual-motion engine. A class system has developed over time, with the elites occupying the front — represented here by a barely recognisable Tilda Swinton — and the poor in the back, who quickly grow tired of their conditions and plan a revolt led by Chris Evans. The impressive ensemble includes Bong regular Song Kang-ho alongside John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Alison Pill, Ed Harris and Ewan Bremner. Snowpiercer was already one of my most anticipated films of the year before this trailer arrived, and after seeing how ambitious (and surprisingly action-packed) it looks here — not to mention Swinton’s bonkers Lancashire accent — I’m possibly even more excited now.
Snowpiercer opens August 1 in South Korea, with international dates yet to be determined. Check out the first trailer and a recent poster below.