Scott Derrickson departs Snowpiercer pilot over creative differences

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Snowpiercer Bong Joon-ho

The endeavor to craft a television series based on director Bong Joon-ho's 2013 film SNOWPIERCER (pictured above) has turned out to be quite a dramatic story in itself. The series was developed by Josh Friedman, who's best known for doing the same for the TERMINATOR series The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Faced with a choice between directing the pilot for the Joe Hill series Locke & Key (which has gone on to have some drama of its own) or the Snowpiercer pilot, DOCTOR STRANGE / DELIVER US FROM EVIL / SINISTER director Scott Derrickson decided to make Snowpiercer. The pilot was shot, the series was given a greenlight from TNT… And then trouble hit, as Friedman left the show over creative differences with TNT and was replaced by Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson.

Friedman later vented his frustration that Manson never contact him to discuss the situation, even saying 

… if you were to take over a show I'd originated and worked on for two years and didn't reach out to me before taking the job you're either an idiot, a coward, or a vichy motherf**ker."

Now things have gotten even worse, as Derrickson has been informed what sort of changes Manson will be making to the show, and has chosen not to direct the reshoots that will be required to bring the new showrunner's vision to the series. The director took to his Twitter account to say: 

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.

The new show runner has a radically different vision for the show. I am forgoing my option to direct the extreme reshoots.

Things aren't looking too good for this show, and they haven't even put together the final version of the pilot yet.

Snowpiercer is set 

seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland. The series centers on the remnants of humanity, who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually-moving train that circles the globe. As it does, issues of class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival are raised.

The show's cast includes Daveed Diggs as a prisoner in the tail end of the train, Jennifer Connelly as a first class passenger who handles the train's PA announcements, Mickey Sumner as part of the train's security force, Annalise Basso as a poor fourth class passenger, Sasha Frolova as a character who is returning to the front of the train after serving three years in the prison car, Benjamin Haigh as the poverty-stricken Fergus McConnell, Katie McGuinness as Fergus's no-nonsense mother, Alison Wright as a fourth-class passenger who works in a nail salon, Roberto Urbina as a fireman in a polyamorous relationship, Susan Park as the finest chef at the train's best restaurant, and Lena Hall as the train's archivist. Sam Otto and Sheila Vand are also on board, but details on their characters were not given.

That's a lot of talent caught up in this mess.

Source: JoBlo, Twitter

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.