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Folks, let’s do this: Snowpiercer is a sequel to Willy Wonka

Naysayers and party-poopers be gone. This article is hereby the domain of people who like to have fun and think about cool shit. On the docket for today’s discussion: Bong Joon-Ho’s 2013 sci-fi action film Snowpiercer is almost definitely a direct sequel to the original Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder. We know what you’re thinking: Hell yeah it is. But, just for fun, let’s take a look at the evidence.

As YouTuber Rhino Stew says in the above video, the similarities between the basic plots of each film are pretty clear. A group of people makes their way through a dangerous and fantastic structure, one by one they’re picked off, and, at the end, the surviving member has a face-to-face with an eccentric industrialist who reveals the whole thing was a test designed to find a worthy successor. But the really fun part starts when we begin drawing direct links between Snowpiercer characters and their Wonka-verse origins.


Ed Harris, who plays the super train’s inventor and de facto conductor, Wilford, is obviously Charlie Bucket grown mad with power after turning his candy empire into a multifaceted global conglomerate. Once the fate of humanity is left in his hands onboard the train, Charlie a.k.a. Wilford surrounds himself with the only people he can trust, i.e. people from his past. His chief assassin is the gun-toting Mike Teavee. His fanatical Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton) is Veruca Salt, whose self-obsession turned to Wilford-obsession once he saved her from the confines of the chocolate factory. Finally, Wilford’s closest ally, Gilliam (John Hurt), is none other than Wonka’s own righthand man Mr. Wilkinson, who played a key role in Wonka’s deception as Arthur Slugworth, just as Gilliam pretends to be on the side of the resistance at the beginning of the film.

No one’s saying this isn’t a batshit crazy leap. But it’s the kind of dumb fun fan theory that makes more and more sense the more you look at it. Plus, there’s absolutely no way a group of kids make it out of Willy Wonka’s nightmare tunnel without growing up to be complete sociopaths.

Update: If you’d like a more sober analysis of the same theory, check out this video from Kevin Maher, which predates Rhino Stew’s by six months:


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About the author

Dan Neilan

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Have Fun — Will Travel.