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SDCC: Snowpiercer is finally coming to the small screen

One of the most anticipated series of the year, apocalypse-themed Snowpiercer, fronted with an A-list cast, and production issues will land on TBS in 2020. Here’s what we found about Snowpiercer at San Diego Comic-Con.

If you’re confused by the two platforms for the Snowpiercer story, you’re not the only one. The latest iteration of the riveting series will arrive on TBS in spring of 2020. The show is set seven years after an apocalypse, where Earth has become an uninhabitable frozen wasteland, and the last vestiges of humanity have escaped to a continuously running 1,001 car train that circumnavigates the globe.

The series stars Jennifer Connelly — one of several A-list actresses headlining shows these days — as well as Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Lena Hall, Steven Ogg, and executive producer and showrunner Graeme Manson.

How is it different from the Bong Joon-Ho 2014 thriller movie?

At the San Diego Comic-Con press conference, the cast and showrunner discussed the differences between the television and movie adaptations. The small-screen edition will be a standalone enterprise, completely separate from the critically-acclaimed Bong Joon-Ho film, which took place 15 years after the apocalyptic event.

Although the series takes place seven years after that same incident, that doesn’t mean the TBS rendering will necessarily serve as a prequel. Fans can expect to be confronted with a whole new set of characters and narrative, although Joon-Ho is still somewhat involved.

“We stand alone,” explained executive producer Graeme Manson, according to Screen Rant. “It goes back to one of the postscripts of the graphic novels, I think the third author said there are as many stories to tell on Snowpiercer as there are trains to circle the Earth. I like that, I think … that sounds like a franchise. So we’ll do one here, and then who knows, another train could start up sometime.”

What Snowpiercer is all about and why the small screen is the perfect platform for the story

We’re clearly living in the golden age of television with a plethora of content, high-quality filming, and incredible storytelling. It’s no wonder that when the producers of Snowpiercer felt the story was ripe for additional narrative than a two-hour film could tell, they looked to television platforms to shop their series, where they can delve into more fascinating detail over an entire season.

Originally based on the French graphic novel by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, Le Transperceneige, plans include fleshing out additional seasons out of more Snowpiercer books. The series will stick closer to the original novel, with a focus on several storylines among the thousands encased in the train, rather than just the elite and most disenfranchised in the movie. Daveed Deed, who plays Andre, explained to Gizmodo:

Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly in ‘Snowpiercer’

“What season of a show have you ever watched that had 1,001 sets? That took place in 1,001 different locations? How many seasons deep do you have to go in any given show before you have over a thousand locations? There are moments where our characters are looking at maps of the train, and for me, as an actor, it was a reminder of, like: ‘Oh s–t, we’re not even like — look there’s no way we get to the front! Look how many cars this is!’

A second season had been approved, and there is plenty of possibilities to explore in successive seasons.

“You know these different cars — look so different that you feel like you’re in a different environment,” explained Steven Ogg, who plays Pike. “Within each car, within each section, the environment is different.”

The rocky path to finding a home on TBS

Originally slated to appear on TNT, with horror film director Scott Derrickson, confusion reigned on the set once Derrickson left and other filmmakers were hired to help pull the show back on track. Derrickson is still an EP for the series, however, and you’ll likely see a co-director recognition for the pilot episode. The series has now found a home at TBS, who has thrown its full support behind the snowpocalypse program.

Next: 101 TV shows to watch before you die

The first season of Snowpiercer will air on TBS in the spring of 2020, one of the more exciting shows to watch for in the new year.

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