AMC’s Western ‘Hell On Wheels’ Sneak Peek Trailer

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 12th, 2011 at 3:07 am,

amc hell on wheels anson mount AMCs Western Hell On Wheels Sneak Peek Trailer

AMC’s been on roll with its original series for the past few years, and they intend to keep it going with railroad drama Hell on Wheels. The first teaser trailer for the new series was posted this week.

Hell on Wheels takes its name from the traveling work camps that helped expand railroads westward after the Civil War. Anti-hero and former Confederate Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) travels to such a camp under the guise of looking for work; in actuality, he’s searching for his wife’s killers.

Mount has been around the block a few times without landing a breakout role. He played ADA Steele on the short-lived Law & Order spinoff Conviction, as well as leads on the equally curtailed The Mountain and Line of Fire. One-off characters on Smallville, Lost and Dollhouse dot his resume.

Trekkies will be glad to know that Colm Meaney (AKA Chief O’Brien) will play a major role. He appears to be a hellfire-and-brimstone preacher spouting the manifest destiny doctrine. Other cast members currently announced include Dominique McElligott (Moon), Ben Essler (The Pacific), Eddie Spears (Into the West) and rapper Lonnie “Common” Lynn.

Check out the trailer below:

While we’ll reserve judgement until Hell On Wheels rides in later this year, it’s hard not to be excited about yet another AMC original. Considering that the network has lately nailed one period piece with Mad Men (to the tune of five seasons, no less) the action-oriented western promises to be engaging at the very least. Writer/producer duo Joe and Tony Gaton tackled contemporary gunslinging justice with Faster last year.

A Reconstruction-era drama with a sympathetic Confederate for a lead is a gutsy move, accented  by making Bohannon’s late wife’s attackers Union soldiers. Aside from the sheer novelty (on television anyway) it should make for some interesting character development. The backdrop of the Transcontinental Railroad and manifest rhetoric will allow for a critical look at America’s western expansion.

AMC was quick to point out its western heritage with 2006 miniseries Broken Trail. “AMC’s commitment to the Western is long-standing, and the genre is an important part of our brand and history as a channel,” said president Charlie Collier.

Hell On Wheels has been given a 10-episode order for its first season, and is set to start filming in Canada next week. AMC is advertising a late 2011 premiere.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. Looks good to me. Mount’s got a slight Jim Caviezel quality, I think and this could be an answer to those of us who miss Deadwood.

  2. Westerns are always a hit with me if they are done well and have an authentic look to them.

  3. Anson Mount is a pretty amazing actor. I’ve been following his career since his indie debut in the film, Tully. He’s long overdue in becoming a mainstream star.

  4. Ten episodes does not a season make.
    What’s up with the paltry 6 or 10 episodes per season routine? Are AMC that afraid to commit when their decisions have been so savvy thus far? Can’t the AMC PTB show a little more confidence?

    • Production is expensive, man. That’s why so many TV shows and movies are being filmed outside California. And the way networks are axing shows, I’d rather have a complete 10-episode run than a hard cut-off.

      It could be worse. Some UK shows have “full seasons” of six episodes.

  5. it’s about time westerns made a comeback I love them

  6. The trailer looks very interesting. For it denotes portrayals of the native American as something greater than a savage as well as the man of. African descent as more than chattel. Both of the forgone depictions have been perpetuated since genesis of film!!

  7. Hey, if they’re filming in Alberta there isn’t much time before the big-bad winter sets in. So 10 episodes in that short span of time is a tall order indeed.

  8. I’ll be watching it, AMC rocks!! Keep up the westerns, we appreciate it out here! Tony (aka Rye Miles SASS cowboy action shooter)

  9. Very sad that they shoot this in Canada when we have everything they need here in the U.S.
    Sad to see AMC being so anti-american when it comes to film shoots.

  10. QUESTION: Why are there NO Chinese people AT ALL on this show about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad?

    • Answer: There were no Chinese working on the Union Pacific Railroad, which is what this show depicts. The Chinese who famously built the railroads were all in California working on the Central Pacific Railroad. This show is set in Nebraska.

  11. your short series is wonderful—hope you make allot more episodes and see it go one for a long time—-why the entertainment industy dumped westerns will always be a mystery to most of the country but it’s always about money so there obviously wasn’t enough money in doing them

  12. Question: How and why did Eva get that tat on her chin? Just discovered the series and love it.

  13. More episodes please! AMC has a great show here and they know it. They have to know it. I will not have anything to watch on Sunday nights.

  14. Just discovered this program a short while back, now I’m hooked. I looked up Pacific Union Railway to get some history, pretty authentic. Hope you have a lo g run. I truly enjoy westerns!