'Snowpiercer' Director Quits After Blasting New Showrunner's "Radically Different Vision"

Scott Derrickson, who helmed Josh Friedman's initial pilot, says new showrunner Graeme Manson's vision is "radically different."
Matthias Nareyek/Getty
Scott Derrickson

The saga behind the scenes of TNT's Snowpiercer continues.

Four months after tapping a new showrunner for the drama based on the feature film of the same name, pilot director Scott Derrickson is declining to return for reshoots as part of the show's new vision.

"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 showrunner has a radically different vision for the show. I am forgoing my option to direct the extreme reshoots," he tweeted Friday afternoon. Derrickson's directing credits include Doctor Strange and The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Derrickson exited his directing gig on Hulu's Locke and Key in favor of directing Snowpiercer after the two pilots wound up with overlapping production schedules. (Locke and Key is now moving forward at Netflix with a new director replacing Andy Muschietti, who now has his own scheduling conflict with It 2.)

Friedman (Sarah Connor Chronicles, War of the Worlds) developed the drama based on the 2013 Korean feature film and penned the script for TNT. The project, which was first put in development with Friedman in 2015, was picked up to pilot at TNT in November 2016 and picked up to series in January — without Friedman. It marked the latest time that TNT president Kevin Reilly has parted ways with Friedman or one of his projects. During his tenure as programming president at Fox, Reilly passed over Friedman's own pilot take on Locke and Key and canceled his drama The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Friedman took to Twitter to explain his ouster from the series he developed. "I didn't 'exit' over creative differences. TNT insisted that I be removed from showrunning duties because they didn't think I'd be compliant. Hopefully they found someone to their liking," he wrote in February.

Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson was tapped in February to take over as showrunner on the drama. 

In May, Friedman blasted his successor's etiquette when Manson failed to get in touch with him before taking over. "If you're asked to rewrite someone or take over their show, it seems like good sense and good karma to reach out to that person first and a) find out what the circumstances of their departure are and b) thank them for doing the work you'll be profiting from," he wrote. "You should buy that person a nice meal or a bottle of alcohol if they're up for it. Your money was earmarked for them at one time. And more than likely, what may be a good job for you was a passion project for them," he added. "Put another way: 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 motherfucker."

Tony winner Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) stars in the reboot alongside Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind). Based on the 2013 film starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer is set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland and centers on the remnants of humanity, who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe. The series explores class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival. Alison Wright (The Americans) co-stars. It's unclear how much Friedman's original logline will change under Manson.

TNT declined comment on Derrickson's remarks. Snowpiercer does not have a premiere date.