Former Walking Dead villain Steven Ogg has signed on for a recurring role on TNT’s Snowpiercer, the series adaptation of Bong Joon-ho’s acclaimed 2013 sci-fi thriller. Ogg joins previously announced cast members Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Alison Wright, Annalise Basso, Mickey Sumner, and Sasha Frolova. The show already had to switch showrunners when Josh Friedman exited over creative differences, who was replaced by Oprhan Black co-creator Graeme Manson.
Set in a dystopian future where the earth has become frozen over due to a climatic catastrophe, Snowpiercer takes place entirely on a train as it carries the last remnants of humanity through this icy hellscape in unceasing loops. Society on-board the train is segregated between lower-class passengers who live in deprived conditions in the tail section, and upper-class passengers who travel in style up front. The story actually began life as the graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette, before being adapted into a film by acclaimed Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho.
Deadline reports that Steven Ogg has become the latest actor to sign up for a trip on TNT’s TV series version of Snowpiercer. Ogg will play a character named Pike, who is described as a “hardened and battle-scarred” career convict that escaped from jail at the time Earth froze over. Pike has now become a warrior and a leader of the rag-tag group living in the tail section of the train.
Ogg has time now to take on the role of Pike in Snowpiercer as his Walking Dead character Simon, the menacing and at times disloyal right-hand man of Negan, was killed off in season 8. An actor known largely for portraying bad guys, Ogg also plays the host Rebus on HBO’s Westworld. Ogg’s TV resume includes appearances on Better Call Saul, Person of Interest, and Law & Order. He also plays the voice of Trevor Philips in the video game Grand Theft Auto V, so he clearly has quite the resume to back up his new role.
For TNT, Snowpiercer represents an ambitious attempt to create an epic sci-fi property along the same lines as Westworld or Orphan Black. However, the show has already run into multiple roadblocks, beginning with the departure of original showrunner Josh Friedman. After Friedman’s exit, series pilot director Scott Derrickson went public with some of his concerns about the direction the show was going under new showrunner Graeme Manson, calling Friedman’s script brilliant while lamenting the decision to reshoot much of what he’d already shot. Manson clearly has a vision for Snowpiercer, but it remains to be seen if that vision will lead to a show that catches on with audiences the same way his Orphan Black did.