Is TNT’s Snowpiercer Based on the Movie?

When Bong Joon-ho first laid his eyes on the French graphic novel, Le Transperceneigehe was extremely fascinated by the book’s themes of social stratification. That’s when he decided to traverse the ideas of the novel to the big screen, and as you may already know, he did a phenomenal job with it. The Oscar-winning director has now inspired a TV series adaptation of the same, which, just like the movie, adopts the core concepts of the source while reanimating a whole new original take on it. This certainly will make many viewers wonder how much of the new series is similar to the original movie and comic book. Well, if you have the same nagging question, here’s your answer.

Is Snowpiercer Based on the Movie? Is it a Sequel or a Prequel?

The answer here is, yes, but only in theory. Just like the original movie and the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, the TNT’s TV show is set in a dystopian world where a human-made ecological disaster has pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. The last surviving few inhabit a colossal train, known as the ‘Snowpiercer’, and are unfairly segregated based on their social status. Furthermore, just like the originals, the series also involves themes revolving around class warfare and social injustice. But despite having a setup that is very similar to that of the movie, the show portrays a whole new set of characters and a reasonably different storyline.

As you can see in the image above, Titan Comics also shared the timeline of the entire ‘Snowpiercer’ franchise. The above timeline indicates that the TV show is set seven years after the calamity, while the movie’s events take place almost fifteen years after it. The official timeline also suggests that there is a difference of only eight years between the film and TV show. Taking this variance into consideration and assuming that both the movie and the series are set in the same universe, one might hope to see the younger versions of the movie’s characters in the show. However, that is not the case.

The series simply adopts the basic sci-fi concepts of the movie and seems to be set in a completely different universe. Even when we compare the series with the source novel, the only significant parallels that can between the two are the sci-fi themes and the overall post-apocalyptic setup. In fact, as Bong Joon-ho stated in the official press notes of ‘Snowpiercer’, even the movie recreates the universe of the novel with an entirely new set of characters and stories.

Moreover, in a press conference at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, the creator of the show, Graeme Manson, explained how the series stands alone and has little to no links with Bong Joon-ho’s movie. Adding to this, he also claimed that the show’s storyline goes back to the postscripts of the source graphic novels. And since an endless number of tales can be derived from its setup, Manson concluded that maybe in the future, another train could be re-imagined in the dark, fictional world of ‘Snowpiercer.’ 

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