Based on the popular French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, the book served as the inspiration for the 2013 movie starring Chris Evans. Two years later, TNT ordered a pilot, and long before production began, the series was soon greenlit for a second season. Later, the show was shifted from TNT to its sister network, TBS. Then, just the other day, it was moved back to TNT.
Now that Snowpiercer is finally back on track, the series will differentiate itself from the film by setting itself seven years after humanity has ruined the planet and confined its few remaining survivors onto a 10-mile train, as opposed to 15 years in the film. Showrunner Graeme Manson, who also co-created Orphan Black, told the crowd, which included SYFY WIRE, that he wanted the loss of a habitable world to be "more immediate and more visceral" for the show's characters.
Manson did say that he "took huge inspiration from the tone of the film" in creating his small-screen adaptation, later emphasizing that "the thrust of the [first] season is about rebellion, revolution, and resistance."
That rebellion will come into play, as the last vestige of humanity happens to be plagued with a rigid caste system. The elite live in luxury near the front, and the farther you venture back, the more squalid and horrific the conditions become. While class warfare has always been central to the story, Daveed Diggs, who plays Andre Layton, said that "the mechanisms of power are much more complicated than just getting to the front of the train."
"There are some wonderful things about the tail, but no amenities," added Diggs, who said that his character will spend the season learning that some things are worth fighting for. Those fights, however, will be "really gnarly," promises Manson.
"It's not that there are no guns on Snowpiercer, there are just very few," Manson explains, saying that the lack of firearms will make the characters rely on spears and spikes to stay alive. "There's an elemental aspect to battles that's really cool."
The crowd was then shown a brief clip of the opening sequence, which details the origins of the 1,001 car train that perpetually circles the globe. While it starts out animated, it does segue into the show's live-action setting. "We wanted it to be in the style, but not exact style, of the comic book," Manson said, teasing that the show will "slip into it [animation] a few times" over the course of its run.
You can see how all this plays out when Snowpiercer premieres on TNT in the Spring of 2020. Season 2 is set to start filming later this month.
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