The latest adaptation of the post-apocalyptic science fiction story Snowpiercer will arrive on TNT on Sunday, May 31 at 9PM, the network announced during a Television Critics Assocation (TCA) event.
The original story comes from the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochetteollows, but the more well-known version these days is the 2013 film adaptation by South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho (who more recently directed and co-wrote last year’s phenomenal Parasite, GameSpot’s favorite movie of 2019). According to a press release, TNT’s version is based on both the graphic novel and the film, whatever that means; it’s likely the show will take elements of both and stretch it out to span multiple seasons of television, though the exact details of the show’s version of the plot aren’t yet known.
The series’ story takes place multiple years after a civilization-ending event that left the earth in a seemingly permanent, uninhabitable frozen state. The remnants of humanity circle the globe on a massive, state-of-the-art train that can never stop moving. The show, which was first announced almost exactly a year ago to this day, stars Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs, along with Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Susan Park, Iddo Goldberg, Katie McGuinness, Lena Hall, Annalise Basso, Sam Otto, Roberto Urbina, Sheila Vand, and Jaylin Fletcher. In addition, Sean Bean has reportedly been cast in the show’s second season, though that hasn’t yet been officially confirmed.
The news of Snowpiercer’s release date is welcome, especially considering the show’s highly publicized troubles during production. After the pilot was shot, acclaimed writer Josh Friedman was fired by the network over “creative differences,” and Graeme Manson took over to oversee reshoots and run the rest of the season. Friedman subsequently called Manson an “idiot” for not contacting him out of respect before taking on the job. Then Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson quit the show, publicly stating that he too would not return for the reshoots. “The 72-page Snowpiercer TV pilot script by [Friedman] is the best I’ve ever read,” he said at the time. “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.”
Speaking about these delays during the TCA event, star Daveed Diggs pointed out that “it takes a long time to make really good s***.”
Executive producer Graeme Manson echoed that sentiment: “I think it had a long birth. I mean, it’s a really great property,” he said. “I was a huge fan of director Bong’s movie, huge fan of the graphic novels. And it took a long time to get [the show] right.”
Manson confirmed that the version that will hit airwaves in May is “a full rebirth” of the show that will use almost nothing from the original pilot. “I pitched it [as] a different world,” he said.
The EP also confirmed how the show will differ from the 2013 movie. While the film mostly explored the plight of the inhabitants of the train’s tail and traveled with them as they rebelled, the show will spend more time with the train’s upper-class inhabitants as well. “One of the first things we did was decide to get to know all of the classes within the first couple of episodes to create an actual character drama, so that, you know, we can understand what life is like in first class, second class, third class, and then the tail,” Manson explained.
Hopefully this adaptation does as good a job as Bong Joon-ho’s movie did when it arrives on Sunday, May 31.
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