Based on the cult graphic novel Le Transperceneige the original 2013 film, directed by Bong Joon-ho, told the story of a train on a never-ending, generational loop, taking in a global circuit through the icy wastes of a climate-devastated world. The carriages were symbolic of different cultures and social status with the poorest workers at the back and the most affluent at the front. When a genuine revolution begins, with the aim to move ever forward through the carriages and seize control of the train, the rebel engineers begin to realise the scale of the task ahead and the risks they are taking. A high-concept story involving fantastic imagery, abstract ideas and a lot of social commentary, Snowpiercer wasn’t quite like anything else on offer. It was an odd mix of western stars ( Chris Evans, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell) and cult Korean performers such as Song Kang-Ho and Ko Asung as directed by Bong Joon Ho.
The project was first mooted around two years ago with significant progress in the last year. Tomorrow Studios (bringing together ITV Studios — and Turner’s Studio T) became involved and originally hired Friedman (best known for the likes of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, War of the Worlds). It was one of two production spinning-off from big-screen successes – though the other, Let the Right One In, did not progress further.
The Snowpiercer series, with its pilot directed by Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson) will feature the likes of Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Mickey Sumner, Susan Park, Benjamin Haigh, Sasha Frolova, Katie McGuinness, Alison Wright, Annalise Basso, Sam Otto, Roberto Urbina, Sheila Vand and Lena Hall.
“Snowpiercer has one of the most original concepts to hit the screen in the last decade, and it’s one that offers numerous opportunities for deeper exploration in a series format,” said Sarah Aubrey, EVP Original Programming at TNT in a statement at the time the series was originaly mooted. “We look forward to expanding TNT’s relationship with Tomorrow Studios and their take on a world where humanity is pushed to the extreme.”