Here's everything we know about the Snowpiercer TV series so far. Bong Joon-ho's dystopian film Snowpiercer endured something of a tumultuous journey to theaters, following its tour of the festival circuit back in 2013. Now-disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein - whose Weinstein Company distributed Snowpiercer stateside - wanted to cut 20 minutes from the movie and add expository voiceovers, prompting an outcry from the greater cinema-loving community. Weinstein ultimately relented, but the film's wide U.S. release was then canceled in favor of a limited rollout instead. Fortunately, Snowpiercer was buoyed by its positive reviews and went on to more than double its $40 million budget at the global box office.
A Snowpiercer TV series based on the movie - itself an adaptation of the French comic book Le Transperceneige - entered development in late 2015, with Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) serving as showrunner. TNT picked up the project a year later and set Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange) to direct and co-produce the pilot with Friedman and Joon-ho. However, shortly after TNT ordered the show to series in January 2018, Friedman was formally dropped over creative differences and replaced with Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson. Derrickson then left the series after declining to carry out heavy reshoots on the pilot, and was similarly replaced by James Hawes (who'd previously worked on TNT's The Alienist).
All in all, the Snowpiercer franchise now has a history of encountering complications and unexpected obstacles on its way to both the big and small screen. Nevertheless, the TV series is currently slated to premiere on TNT later this year (with Netflix airing the show outside the U.S. and China) and marketing should be getting started in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, here's the lowdown on what we know about the series, right now.
Snowpiercer TV Show Release Date
Reshoots on the Snowpiercer pilot wrapped back in January, so the series should be ready to premiere sometime in 2019. The Walking Dead's Steven Ogg, who's costarring on the series, previously indicated that the show will begin airing on TNT this summer, possibly in June. The network is expected to unveil the third and fourth seasons (respectively) of its popular series Claws and Animal Kingdom (another movie-turned TV show) this summer, but there's very much room in their summer lineup for a television event like Snowpiercer. Moreover, if it arrives between June and August, then the series won't have to directly compete with HBO's final season of Game of Thrones for attention in the genre TV department.
Snowpiercer TV Show Story
The Snowpiercer TV series reportedly picks up seven years after earth is reduced to a uninhabitable frozen wasteland, after an engineering attempt to reverse the effects of global warming goes terribly wrong. Like the film, it will focus on the lives of those who survived the "cold-pocalypse" by boarding the Snowpiercer: an enormous train powered by a perpetual motion engine and divided into social classes that correspond to the different train cars (the front cars are where the upper-class live, for example). Joon-ho's movie focuses on a social revolution within the train that takes place about 17 years after the new ice age begins, so it's possible the series will function as a quasi-prequel to the film's narrative. Snowpiercer was also described as a "space ship show" with an overarching mystery when Friedman was involved, but things may've changed following his departure.
Snowpiercer TV Show Cast
Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting) and Jennifer Connelly (Alita: Battle Angel) are starring in Snowpiercer as, respectively, Layton Well - an everyman struggling to survive in the train's tail end - and Melanie Cavill, a first-class passenger who provides daily announcements to the rest of the train's residents. By the sound of it, Diggs and Connelly are playing variations on the characters that Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton brought to life in Joon-ho's movie. Other main cast members here include Annalise Basso (The Red Road), Alison Wright (The Americans), Susan Park (Vice Principals), Mickey Sumner (Low Winter Sun), Kate McGuinness (Roots), Sheila Vand (24: Legacy), Sam Otto (The State), and, as mentioned, Ogg, all of whom play train passengers of different occupations and/or class rankings.
Suffice it to say, Snowpiercer has a big ensemble and further includes Ido Goldberg (The Last Tycoon), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Jonathan Walker (Continuum), Michael Issa Rubio (Deadly Class), Miranda Edwards (The Magicians), and many others in recurring roles of some kind. Presumably, the plan is for the TV series to focus on exploring character threads and fleshing out its supporting roster's backstories much more than Joon-ho's plot-driven movie adaptation did.