A Snowpiercer TV series has been in the works since 2016, going through two showrunners, jumping networks from TNT to TBS and back to TNT, and already has a Season 2 renewal. So what the heck is going on?
“It takes a long time to make really good sh*t,” series actor Daveed Diggs said.
Added Manson: “It had a long birth. It’s a really great property, I’m a huge fan of director Bong (Joon Ho)’s movie and huge fan of the graphic novels, and it took a long time to get it right and we got it right.”
In regards to why the actors kept hanging around throughout both iterations, including Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly, Diggs quipped: “I don’t think we could have left if we wanted to. Contractual obligations.”
As far as what’s left from the original pilot in the revised pilot, Manson said, “I don’t think there’s any. I think there’s a little piece of a special effects set piece, but it was a full rebirth of the series. When I came on, I pitched a different world.”
Set more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, Snowpiercer revolves around the remnants of humanity, who inhabit a 1001-car, perpetually moving train that circles the globe. Class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival play out.
When asked if the series will have the snappiness of the Bong movie in regards to the train, Manson said, “I wanted to create a character drama, and wanted (us) to get to know the classes in all the episodes.”
As far as whether there’s cannibalism in the series like in the movie, Diggs joked “there is enough cannibalism for the cannibalism fans, but that’s not the thrust.”
Asked if the character of Wilford, the recluse transportation magnate who runs the train, played by Ed Harris in the movie, would appear in the series, Manson exclaimed: “TBD.”
Originally, Snowpiercer was to be run by Josh Friedman, but he exited the project in January 2018 and replaced by Manson. A year ago, Kevin Reilly, who oversees TNT and TBS as well as HBO Max, commented on the change at the TCA winter 2019 tour.
“Quite often when you have a change, it signals that you didn’t really buy into their vision. We had a pilot that was very promising with some creative people behind it, and in that case it was a filmmaker who hadn’t really done TV before, and mounting a series was a different order, and we got on Graeme who was a consummate professional and an incredible partner and has built off of the template that we had with the great cast,” Reilly said at the time.
Friedman aired his grievances on Twitter after his departure, slamming his successor. “If you’re asked to rewrite someone or take over their show it seems like good sense and good karma to reach out to that person first and a) find out what the circumstances of their departure are and b) thank them for doing the work you’ll be profiting from,” Friedman tweeted in May 2018. “You should buy that person a nice meal or a bottle of alcohol if they’re up for it. Your money was earmarked for them at one time. And more than likely, what may be a good job for you was a passion project for them. Put another way: If you were to take over a show I’d originated and worked on for two years and didn’t reach out to me before taking the job you’re either an idiot, a coward, or a vichy motherf*cker.”
Reilly at one point also moved the series from TNT to TBS, but after further research the decision was made to keep Snowpiercer on TNT even though TBS was still programming dramas.
Snowpiercer will finally air on TNT at 9 PM Sunday, May 31.
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