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Snowpiercer TV pilot changes track, director Scott Derrickson refuses to complete “extreme reshoots”

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Jun 30, 2018, 11:23 AM EDT

Expect some severe delays and a change of direction for this speeding train.

The long-awaited television adaptation of the sci-fi movie Snowpiercer is changing track. Director Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange, The Day the Earth Stood Still) tweeted Friday that he has refused to film reshoots for the feature-length TNT pilot, after Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson took over as the new showrunner from Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).

"The 72-page Snowpiercer TV pilot script by @Josh_Friedman is the best I've ever read. The feature-length pilot I made from that script may be my best work," Derrickson tweeted to his followers. "The new show runner has a radically different vision for the show. I am forgoing my option to direct the extreme reshoots."

News of this project was first announced last May, and Deadline reports that Friedman left in January amid "creative differences," with Manson being quickly roped in to replace him.

The show is based on Bong Joon Ho's 2013 movie starring Chris Evans, Ed Harris, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, and Jamie Bell.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the TV series is set seven years after the original movie took place (in 2031) where a new ice age has hit the Earth, which has now become a frozen solid wasteland. The series will center on the survivors who "inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe," where the rich live at the front of the train while the poor are relegated to the tail end, igniting a class warfare.

It's not the first time that Friedman has left a project under somewhat of a cloud. He previously departed NBC's Emerald City, also due to "creative differences," in 2015, before it eventually aired last year. Although Friedman hasn't addressed the Snowpiercer fiasco directly, he tweeted earlier this month: "But I lose my job for not pushing the mystery story fast enough."

Interestingly, the original movie itself got off to a rocky start when distributor Harvey Weinstein ordered 20 minutes of the movie to be cut, and it was widely reported at the time that director Bong declined, prompting a delay in the release. Subsequently, a "Free Snowpiercer" petition campaign demanding the director's cut of the film be released in the U.S. was created by cinematic activist Denise Heard-Bashur. It was eventually given a director’s cut release, but only in selected cinemas.

Is there a Snowpiercer curse? We sure hope not, at least for the passengers onboard. 

Are you excited for this TV adaptation, or will it be a doomed journey into a snowy abyss? Give us your thoughts below.