TNT's upcoming Snowpiercer pilot has cast Frances Ha actress Mickey Sumner in a lead role. One of the most critically acclaimed science-fiction films of the last five years, Snowpiercer was released in the United States in 2014 and directed by South Korean auteur Bong Joon-Ho. Based on a French graphic novel, the film stars Chris Evans as a passenger leading a revolution aboard a train traveling through the icy post-apocalyptic wasteland.
The Snowpiercer TV series will retain the locomotive-based premise of the original film. Hamilton's David Diggs is playing the series' protagonist Layton Well, a prisoner who becomes a reluctant participant in the class struggle aboard the train. Jennifer Connelly is costarring in the series as the First Class passenger Melanie Cavill, who serves as the "Voice of the Train".
According to Deadline, Sumner will play a lead character on the Snowpiercer TV series named Bess Till, an empathetic and savvy brakesman working on the train as part of the security team. The character will find herself at the center of a mystery that will shake the core of the uneasy class system aboard.
TNT ordered the Snowpiercer TV show pilot episode in November of last year, with Doctor Strange's Scott Derrickson set to helm the pilot. The show will share the post-apocalyptic premise of the original film, with Joon-Ho executive producing and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles writer Josh Friedman having a good chunk of the writing.
Sumner is perhaps best known for her role as Greta Gerwig's best friend in 2013's Frances Ha. She also has made appearances in the Jason Segel-Jesse Eisenberg dramedy The End of the Tour and the AMC original series Low Winter Sun. The actress has a couple of projects in the pipeline this year, with supporting roles in Doug Liman's American Made and the Emma Stone-Steve Carell sports biopic Battle of the Sexes.
In addition to Evans, the original film also starred high-profile actors such as Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris. It holds a 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and ranked in the end-of-year top tens of over 40 film critics. Despite the hesitancy that may come with further adaptation after the overwhelming success of the movie version, the Snowpiercer premise may lend itself just as well to the television format - as the film was only able to hint at the rich backstory and potential of that universe.
Adaptations of beloved films to other formats sometimes warrant cautious skepticism, and rightfully so, as there have been plenty of bad ones throughout the years (does anyone remember the Ferris Bueller's Day Off how?). However, there have been a number of successful movies-turned TV series, from shows as old as M*A*S*H* to recent productions like Hannibal and Fargo. With the assembly of a solid cast so far and plenty of talent behind the camera, it's hard not to be at least slightly optimistic about the TV version of Snowpiercer.
Snowpiercer premieres sometime in 2018.