In Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, the whole plan to put the last vestiges of humanity in a giant train built on a brutal and destructive class system is a terrible idea, but it looks like TNT’s goal of turning Snowpiercer into a TV show is similarly ill-conceived—though at least nobody has had to eat anyone yet. The adaptation hit the train-equivalent of a speed bump back in January when original showrunner Josh Friedman dropped out of the project over “creative differences,” despite the fact that the show already had a series order and Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson had already directed a feature-length pilot episode. Friedman later claimed he was fired because TNT didn’t think he’d be “compliant,” and the network eventually replaced him with former Orphan Black showrunner Graeme Manson.
Now it’s Derrickson’s turn to go rogue, tweeting that Manson—who is not named in the post—”has a radically different vision for the show” than what Derrickson had originally presented in his pilot. He says Friedman’s script was “the best” he’s ever read and that the pilot he made “may be my best work.” Because of that, he’s refusing to direct the “extreme reshoots” that TNT and Manson apparently want, and he won’t be directing any future episodes or releasing his version of the pilot.
One fun thing about all of this, though, is that it should theoretically be easy to see what these controversial changes were. Since the show is based on a movie, any dramatic differences between the plot of the show and the movie would probably be the result of TNT’s influence—unless Friedman and Derrickson delivered some wildly radical take on Snowpiercer that caused TNT to panic a little bit. Either way, we’d be able to make an educated guess toward what happened.