Snowpiercer (TV series)

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Snowpiercer
Genre
Developed byJosh Friedman
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
Release
Original networkTNT

Snowpiercer is an upcoming American post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller television drama series that is set to air on TNT in the second quarter of 2020. It is based on both the 2013 South Korean-Czech film of the same name, directed by Bong Joon-ho, and the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, from which the film was adapted, by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette.

The series, a reboot of the film's continuity, follows the passengers of the Snowpiercer, a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe carrying the remnants of humanity seven years after the world becomes a frozen wasteland. Snowpiercer questions class warfare, social injustice, and the politics of survival. Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly are set to star alongside Mickey Sumner, Annalise Basso, Sasha Frolova, Alison Wright, Benjamin Haigh, Roberto Urbina, Katie McGuinness, Susan Park, Lena Hall, Sheila Vand, Sam Otto, Iddo Goldberg, and Jaylin Fletcher.

While in development at TNT for over three years, the series faced numerous production issues and delays arising from creative differences between the series' producers and the network. The series remained in development hell until May 2019, when it was announced that the series would instead air on TBS in 2020, and that it was already renewed for a second season. However, in September 2019, the decision to change networks was reversed.

Premise[edit]

Snowpiercer is set seven years after the world becomes a frozen wasteland and follows the remnants of humanity who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe. The show questions class warfare, social injustice, and the politics of survival.[1]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Daveed Diggs as Layton Well: A quiet thinker who spends his days sniffing the industrial-waste-turned-drug Chronole and tending to his cage of rats. He is a prisoner barely surviving the harsh conditions in the tail end of the train and a reluctant participant in a struggle that could upend life on the train.[2]
  • Jennifer Connelly as Melanie Cavill: A first class passenger and the Voice of the Train, who makes the PA system's daily announcements. Though many of her peers are dismissive of the lower class passengers, Melanie is curiously fascinated by them.[3]
  • Mickey Sumner as Bess Till: A thoughtful, empathetic, and savvy brakeman who is part of the train's security force. She finds herself at the center of a mystery that rocks the train’s uneasy status quo.[4]
  • Annalise Basso as LJ Anderson: A quiet and diligent Midwestern girl who lives with her parents in a fourth-class cabin and works in the greenhouse car. While poor, she is not as desperate as those that live in the tail of the train and has made peace with her daily routine until a major event shakes up her world.[5]
  • Sasha Frolova as Pixi Aariak: A strange, mysterious, inscrutable, and charismatic "chameleon" who returns to the front of the train after a three-year sentence in the prison car and struggles to acclimate to her old life.[5]
  • Alison Wright as Lilah Anderson: A careful and quiet, but a pragmatic and independent thinker who must come to realize her own strength. She lives with her husband and daughter in a fourth-class cabin and works in the train's nail salon.[6]
  • Benjamin Haigh as Fergus McConnell: A passenger who lives in the back of the train amongst poverty. He helps his mother care for his sick father, and does his best to contribute to the daily struggles of life in this part of the train.[6]
  • Roberto Urbina as Avi: A member of the Breach Team, the train's equivalent of a fireman, who is also part of a polyamorous relationship that's reeling from a personal tragedy.[7]
  • Katie McGuinness as Josie McConnell: A strong, no-nonsense woman who lives in poverty at the tail of the train. She cares for her sick husband as well as their precocious son and would do anything for her family.[7]
  • Susan Park as Jinju: The finest chef at the train's finest restaurant, and a member of the train's elite.[8]
  • Lena Hall as Sayori: The train's archivist who is responsible for maintaining the continuity, be it in the form of oral histories, meticulous written records or ensuring key roles necessary for its continuous travels are always filled. She is a crucial member of the train's upper management.[9]
  • Sheila Vand as Zarah: The character was originally named "Cleo" in the pilot script.[10]
  • Sam Otto as John "Oz" Osweiler: A young brakeman and police-type figure of the train.[11]
  • Iddo Goldberg as Bennett: One of the original engineers who helped design the train, making him one of the few passengers who knows the deepest secrets of the train.[12]
  • Jaylin Fletcher as Miles: One of the few children in the tail end of the train. Whip smart and talented, he has the intelligence to potentially move up the train if he can get a coveted apprenticeship.[13]

Recurring[edit]

  • Steven Ogg as Pike: A hardened and battle-scarred leader in the Tail and a warrior of his people. He was a career convict, serving time in Cook County Jail for armed robbery at the time of the Freeze, but escaped.[14] Ogg is set to become a series regular for the second season.[15]
  • Timothy V. Murphy as Commander Grey: A brilliant tactician, hardened leader, and former Special Forces, British SAS who commanded men before the Freeze. He relishes keeping things in order and getting his hands dirty in combat.[16]
  • Happy Anderson as Klimpt: A research scientist-turned-doctor, who oversees those unfortunate enough to be sentenced to the coffin-like Drawers.[16]
  • Jonathan Lloyd Walker as Big John: A poor passenger from the back of the train forced to perform harsh slave-like labor.[16]
  • Aleks Paunovic as Bojan Boscovic: A large and fearsome-looking Breachworker, one of the most dangerous jobs on the train, with frostbite scars and stumped ears who is used to the cold and jokes about the hazards of the job.[17]
  • Shaun Toub as Terence: A charming, conniving, and ultimately dangerous janitor-turned-gangster who rules the Black Market with an enigmatic power, inspiring fierce loyalty in his army of minions.[18]
  • Kerry O'Malley as Lilah Folger: A former corporate lawyer who came from old money and is fiercely protective of her own, particularly her daughter LJ and the rest of first class with whom she shares a vested interest in maintaining their security and privilege.[19]
  • Aaron Glenane as The Last Australian: A scrappy tailie charmer from Perth with an intense desire to survive because, as far as he knows, he is the last Australian.[20]
  • Fiona Vroom as Miss Gillies: An encouraging and well-rounded school teacher who is responsible for educating Snowpiercer's next generation.[20]

Guest[edit]

  • Rowan Blanchard as Alexandra: A self-assured 17-year-old, wise beyond her years, with mysterious connections to the history of Snowpiercer.[21] Blanchard is set to become series regular for the second season.[22]
  • Manoj Sood as Rajiv Sharma[23]
  • Michel Issa Rubio[24]
  • Miranda Edwards as Lights[25]
  • Benjamin Charles Watson as Brakeman Fuller[26]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
1TBAScott Derrickson & James Hawes[27]Josh Friedman & Graeme Manson[22]Q2 2020 (Q2 2020)[22]TBATBD

James Hawes will direct two further episodes of the first season's ten episodes.[28]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In November 2015, Marty Adelstein's Tomorrow Studios optioned the rights to develop a television series based on the 2013 film Snowpiercer, which was adapted from the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette. The film's director Bong Joon-ho was attached as an executive producer alongside Adelstein and Josh Friedman, with the latter also set to write.[29] A year later in November 2016, the project was ordered to pilot along with backup scripts by TNT with Friedman to serve as showrunner.[1] In May 2017, it was announced that Scott Derrickson would direct the pilot written by Friedman.[2] The pilot was picked up to series in January 2018.[30][31] Later that month, Friedman was removed from the project by TNT due to "creative differences" with the network.[32] Graeme Manson was appointed to replace Friedman as showrunner the following month.[33] That June, Derrickson refused to return for reshoots on the pilot due to creative disputes with Manson, explaining via Twitter:

"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."[34]

Less than two weeks later, James Hawes joined the series in July as a co-executive producer and a director to oversee the reshoots for the pilot.[27] Later that month, Netflix picked up the international distribution rights to stream the series outside of the United States and China.[35] In May 2019, it was announced that the series would air on TBS instead of TNT for a Q2 2020 release, and that a second season had already been ordered by the network.[22] That month, it was also announced that Huanxi Media Group had signed on to broadcast the first two seasons exclusively in China.[36] Manson will return as showrunner for the second season.[15][37] In September 2019, the decision to change networks was reversed, with the series once again set to air on TNT.[38]

Writing[edit]

The series is designed to be a reboot of the original 2013 film's continuity. The story takes place seven years after a climate catastrophe rendered the outside world uninhabitable, forcing the remnants of humanity to live confined inside of a massive train that constantly circles the globe. The series investigates the struggles of class disparity, as the passengers of the train are segregated based on economic status.[39] Regarding how the television adaptation would differentiate itself from the 2013 film, series star Daveed Diggs said that the show would "broaden exponentially" the world established by both the film and the 1982 graphic novel. "That's one of the advantages of TV, you have time," Diggs said. "So the politics that are hinted at in the film are explored in much more depth, and the mechanism of the train [is explored further] — just the little things that create a world, world specificity."[40] At the 2017 Television Critics Association press tour, TNT and TBS president Kevin Reilly revealed that the Snowpiercer series would be akin to a "space ship show" due to its contained setting and that it would feature an ongoing mystery during the first season.[41]

Casting[edit]

In May 2017, Daveed Diggs was cast as Layton Well.[2] The following month, Jennifer Connelly and Mickey Sumner landed the other lead roles of Melanie Cavill and Bess Till, respectively.[3][4] Casting continued throughout the month of June with Annalise Basso as LJ Anderson, Sasha Frolova as Pixi Aariak, Alison Wright as Lilah Anderson, Benjamin Haigh as Fergus McConnell, Roberto Urbina as Avi, and Katie McGuinness as Josie McConnell.[5][6][7] That August, it was announced that Susan Park had joined the main cast as Jinju.[8] In September, Lena Hall was cast as Sayori.[9] The series order in January 2018 also revealed that Sheila Vand and Sam Otto had been cast in then-undisclosed roles as series regulars.[30] Vand will reportedly play Zarah, while Otto will play John "Oz" Osweiler.[10][11] In August, Iddo Goldberg and Jaylin Fletcher were added as series regulars in the roles of Bennett and Miles, respectively.[12][13]

Casting for a number of recurring roles were also announced during the month of August, including Steven Ogg as Pike, Timothy V. Murphy as Commander Grey, Happy Anderson as Klimpt, Jonathan Lloyd Walker as Big John, and Aleks Paunovic as Bojan Boscovic.[14][16][17] The following month in September, Shaun Toub and Kerry O'Malley were added to the recurring cast as Terence and Lilah Folger, respectively.[18][19] In October, Aaron Glenane was cast as The Last Australian alongside Fiona Vroom as Miss Gillies, both in recurring capacities.[20] In March 2019, Rowan Blanchard was cast as Alexandra for a guest role with the option of becoming a series regular should the series be renewed for a second season.[21] Blanchard's promotion to the main cast for the second season was confirmed with the series' renewal that May.[22] In June, Ogg was also promoted to series regular status for the second season.[15]

Filming[edit]

In January 2017, it was reported that filming for the series was scheduled to begin in mid-March of that year.[42] By September 25, pilot director Scott Derrickson indicated that production for the series had officially commenced.[43][44] Reshoots for the pilot, overseen by new director James Hawes, began on August 20, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia and concluded on January 24, 2019.[27][45] Principal photography for the second season is expected to begin on October 21, 2019 and end on March 20, 2020 in Langley, British Columbia.[46]

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

The series will debut on TNT in the United States in the second quarter of 2020,[22][38] while Netflix will air the series globally outside of the United States and China.[35] Huanxi Media Group is set to broadcast the first two seasons exclusively in China.[36]

Marketing[edit]

Cast members Connelly, Diggs, Wright, Sumner, Hall, and Ogg attended the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con International along with executive producers Manson, Adelstein, and Clements to promote the series and debut its first official trailer.[47][48] As part of the promotion for the upcoming series, insect protein bars mimicking those from the film were made available at the event.[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (November 21, 2016). "TNT Orders 'Snowpiercer' Pilot Based On Movie From Tomorrow Studios". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (May 17, 2017). "'Snowpiercer': Daveed Diggs To Star In TNT Pilot Based On Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (June 7, 2017). "'Snowpiercer': Jennifer Connelly To Star In TNT Pilot Based On Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (June 8, 2017). "'Snowpiercer': Mickey Sumner To Star In TNT Pilot Based On Movie". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (June 14, 2017). "'Snowpiercer': Annalise Basso & Sasha Frolova Cast In TNT Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (June 15, 2017). "'Snowpiercer' Casts Alison Wright & Benjamin Haigh; Vincent Piazza Enters 'The Passage'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (June 20, 2017). "'Snowpiercer': Roberto Urbina & Katie McGuinness Cast In TNT Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Petski, Denise (August 30, 2017). "'Snowpiercer': Susan Park Cast In TNT Drama Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (September 12, 2017). "TNT's 'Snowpiercer' Reboot Adds Tony Winner Lena Hall (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Al-Khatahteh, Amani (September 20, 2018). "Four Middle Eastern and Muslim Actresses on the Roles They Don't Get And the Ones They Won't Take". ELLE. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Mills, Richard (January 19, 2018). "Acting sensation Sam Otto raring to go for star-studded TV show The Snowpiercer". Wiltshire Times. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Petski, Denise (August 7, 2018). "'Snowpiercer': Iddo Goldberg Cast As Series Regular In TNT Drama". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Petski, Denise (August 15, 2018). "Roger Cross Joins CBC's 'The Coroner'; 'Snowpiercer' Casts Jaylin Fletcher". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
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  17. ^ a b Petski, Denise (August 27, 2018). "'Snowpiercer' Casts Aleks Paunovic; 'All American' Adds Hunter Clowdus". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Petski, Denise (September 13, 2018). "'Snowpiercer' Casts Shaun Toub; Clementine Nicholson Joins 'Knightfall'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  19. ^ a b Petski, Denise (September 21, 2018). "'Snowpiercer' Casts Kerry O'Malley; Rob Benedict Joins 'Bosch'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
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  24. ^ "25 of the Most Awaited TV Shows of 2019". MSN. October 13, 2018. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  25. ^ Martinez, Brianna (November 7, 2018). "Miranda Edwards on the New 'Arrow' Villain and Upcoming Series 'Snowpiercer' [Exclusive Interview]". Tell-Tale TV. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  26. ^ "Actor Benjamin Charles Watson Stars In Season 3 Of TV's Hottest Political Thriller, "Designated Survivor." He Speaks About The Series, His Jamaican Roots, Other Starring Roles, And Living On A Planet With A Fever That Will Never Cool". Loot & Riot. June 1, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
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  49. ^ Marshall, Andrew (July 13, 2019). "Snowpiercer Bug Bars With Actual Crickets Coming To SDCC". Screen Rant. Retrieved October 3, 2019.

External links[edit]