Kevin Reilly has addressed the showrunner changes behind TNT’s long-gestating sci-fi drama Snowpiercer. The chief creative officer of Turner Entertainment, who is also president of TNT, said the Jennifer Connelly-fronted drama should soon see the light of day and that the network is “just playing with the timing of when it airs.”
He also addressed the showrunner changes at the show, which is produced by ITV-backed Tomorrow Studios, Turner’s Studio T, along with CJ Entertainment. This is after things got ugly between former showrunner Josh Friedman, who was replaced by Orphan Black’s Graeme Mason.
Reilly admitted the situation got “very strange.”
“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.
Friedman exited the project in January 2018 and was replaced by Mason in February. However, The Sarah Connor Chronicles writer and producer slammed the etiquette of his successor on Twitter.
“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 motherfucker.”
Starring Connelly and Daveed Diggs and based on the acclaimed 2013 movie by Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer is set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland. It centers on the remnants of humanity who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe. Class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival are questioned in the TV adaptation. Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson directed the pilot. The cast also includes Mickey Sumner, Susan Park, Benjamin Haigh, Sasha Frolova, Katie McGuinness, Alison Wright, Annalise Basso, Sam Otto, Roberto Urbina, Sheila Vand and Lena Hall.
Tomorrow Studios’ Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements executive produce with Derrickson and the original film’s Bong, Park Chan-wook, Lee Tae-hun and Dooho Choi.
Reilly added that he’s seen all of the episodes and called the series “outstanding.”