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Trivia / Snowpiercer

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  • Ability over Appearance: Bon Joon-ho had reservations about casting Chris Evans in the lead role, because of his muscular physique. He felt that as a resident of the extremely poverty-stricken tail section, Curtis should not be especially physically fit. Costuming and careful camera angles kept Evans' physique from showing.
  • Acting for Two: Aside from playing Mason, Tilda Swinton also makes a cameo appearance as a partygoer in the front section.
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  • All-Star Cast: Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Luke Pasqualino, and Alison Pill.
  • Ascended Fanon: In a way, the movie can be interpreted as an Elsewhere Fic to the comics, which present the possibility of there being multiple snowpiercers instead of just the two. Terminus officially confirms that the movie takes place on a third Snowpiercer, and that there were as many as ten roaming the earth at some point.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy:
    • Bong Joon-ho came across the original comic in his local comic book store and found himself so engrossed in the story that he read the entire series right then and there. Upon finishing comic he was hell-bent on making a cinematic adaptation.
    • Many of the cast also signed on, despite the project being a relatively low-budget foreign film, because they were intrigued by the story and because Bong gave them significant leeway on interpreting their characters.
  • Bad Export for You:
    • The film saw a very limited domestic release in Europe, reaching only a handful of countries like France and Norway. If you have any problems understanding English (notably spoken in a wide range of American, British, and European accents) and/or can't speak Korean, enjoy deciphering the one subtitle track (which depends on which country the print is for) and missing Namgoong's ending monologue, or prepare to pay an inflated price to ship an American copy.
    • The US nearly got this thanks to The Weinstein Company's Executive Meddling, with Harvey Weinstein wanting to cut up to twenty minutes from the film and add an opening and closing narration, and then trying to justify it with dismissive and insulting remarks about the intelligence of moviegoers in Flyover Country. Only a disastrous test screening of Weinstein's version caused him to give Bong Joon-ho final cut — and he still screwed over its theatrical release, cutting it from a wide release to a limited one in just 356 theaters, where it predictably bombed despite having been a Sleeper Hit in the rest of the world.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Played Straight with Jamie Bell, who was 26 playing 17-year-old Edgar at the time of filming.
    • Downplayed with Go Ah-sung, who was 19 playing 17-year-old Yona.
    • Inverted with Chris Evans, who was 31 playing 34-year-old Curtis when the film was made.
  • Defictionalization: According to nuclear scientists, it is actually possible to create the Snowpiercer train in real-life using nuclear fusion.
  • Dueling Movies:
    • Is often compared to Elysium for its dystopian setting and "Haves versus Have-Nots" plot.
    • The limited theatrical release in the US unfortunately coincides with Transformers: Age of Extinction.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Chris Evans grew a beard for his role as Curtis, and had to use a face mask when he filmed the end-of-credits stinger in The Avengers. Note how he keeps his chin (and thus his beard) in his hands as Captain America in the scene. However, he didn't have time to lose weight for this film so the costume designers had to spend an unexpectedly large portion of their small budget figuring out ways to hide his muscles since Curtis is supposed to be suffering from years of inadequate nutrition.
  • Executive Meddling: Attempted by The Weinstein Company. They're infamous for acquiring foreign films, cutting them down and promptly "americanizing" them. When they tried to cut up to 20 minutes from the Korean version, they were hit with bad publicity from cinephiles. Along with critical acclaim towards Joon-Ho's cut, this led the Weinsteins to back off.
  • I Knew It!: The film essentially has nothing in common with the comics aside from the setting... which, given the openness of the endings, makes it fairly open to potentially being set elsewhere in the universe of the comics. As of Snowpiercer 3: Terminus, the film is confirmed Canon to the comics.
  • Playing Against Type: Chris Evans is well known for portraying rather upbeat and jovial characters, such as Captain America. Here he plays a very dour and serious man wracked by guilt.
  • Production Posse: Song Kang-ho and Go Ah-sung played father and daughter in Bong Joon-ho's previous film The Host.
  • Those Two Actors: John Hurt and Tilda Swinton appeared in this film the same year that they starred together in Only Lovers Left Alive.
    • Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer would later appear together in Gifted.
  • Typecasting: Tilda Swinton as an androgynous Ice Queen? You don't say.
  • What Could Have Been: There are plenty, according to this link:
    • The only place where the original comic was published outside of France was South Korea. Also, the original authors had previously refused an offer to turn it into a film.
    • There were some planned concepts that had to be cut due to budget restrictions, such as:
      • The Engine having more than one-hundred children as the workers.
      • An additional zoo section being shown after the aquarium section, with a scene of a bent-neck giraffe being shown.
      • A brothel section with tail-section women in it, which originally appeared in the comic.
    • The ending was originally planned to have a narration by Tanya's son Timmy, which was cut because Bong Joon-ho wanted the ending to be more open.
    • Dustin Hoffman was considered for the role of Wilford, before Park Chan Wook suggested Ed Harris to Bong Joon-ho.
    • Michael Fassbender, Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Hiddleston was considered for the role of Curtis. Gyllenhaal later appeared in Bong Joon-ho's next film, Okja.
    • Rebel Wilson was originally cast as Claude, but backed out due to scheduling conflicts.
    • Mason was originally written as a male, with John C. Reilly being considered for the role until Tilda Swinton got cast. However, Mason is still being referred as a man in the script.
  • Word of God: According to the filmmakers, the Revolt of the Seven's female leader is Namkoong Minsu's wife and Yona's mother.
  • The drawings in the tail section were illustrated by Jean-Marc Rochette, artist of the original Le Transperceneige graphic novel.


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