Snowpiercer has received a series order from TNT. In September, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson announced he was filming the pilot for the post-apocalyptic show. TNT president Kevin Reilly said in July that the show’s first season would revolve around an “ongoing mystery.” Jennifer Connelly heads up the cast, along with Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs, Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Robin Weigert and Annalise Basso.
Bong Joon Ho directed the original Snowpiercer film, based on a graphic novel by Jacques Lob. The story concerns a post-apocalyptic future in which climate change has left the earth frozen solid. The last remaining humans all live in a train that continually speeds around the globe. Low-class citizens live in the depressing rear of the train, while the rich reside in opulent splendor in the forward cars. A rebellious group, led by Chris Evans, launches a revolution against the train’s privileged elites. The high-concept premise afforded plenty of opportunity for action as well as allegory. Tilda Swinton was memorable as Minister Mason, the right-hand man to the train’s mysterious engineer Wilford (Ed Harris).
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As reported by Variety, TNT has now given a series order to Snowpiercer the TV show. Bong Joon Ho will executive produce along with Tomorrow Studios’ Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements, plus Park Chan-wook, Lee Tae-hun and Dooho Choi. TNT executive vice president for original programming Sarah Aubrey indicated the show will have plenty of topicality to go with its action:
“Science fiction is the perfect genre to examine issues of race, class, gender and natural resources with thought-provoking and exciting storytelling. Snowpiercer will explore those relevant issues while embarking on a wild, action-filled ride.”
Bong Joon Ho’s Snowpiercer received critical acclaim for its vision of a brutal future in which all the old human class divisions still apply despite the species being on the brink of extinction. Snowpiercer however is more than just a bleak dystopian sci-fi film. Bong Joon Ho brought style and humor and touches of craziness to the concept. He also executed the tricky, contained action scenes with a high level of skill. It all came together to produce a memorable experience.
Scott Derrickson’s involvement in the Snowpiercer pilot gives the series a chance to get off to a strong start. But where will the series go after that? High-concept premises often run into trouble when stretched over multiple episodes. It’s true that Snowpiercer the TV series will have more time to the explore the story’s themes and characters. But with the show being restricted to the train, writers may have a difficult challenge avoiding storytelling claustrophobia.
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TNT has yet to announce a premiere date for Snowpiercer.