Based on a 2013 film by Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer is set on an enormous train of the same name, which perpetually circles the globe, following an event that turned the world into a frozen wasteland. Addressing such timely topics as class warfare and social injustice, the post-apocalyptic, sci-fi thriller charts the journey of those few humans left alive, as they engage in a revolutionary struggle aboard the train.
In Season 2, Bean takes on the role of Mr. Wilford, the visionary behind Snowpiercer, who rigidly divided the train’s sections by social class, provoking a war with passengers, including Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) and Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs). First appearing in Snowpiercer’s Season 1 finale, Blanchard plays Melanie’s daughter Alexandra, who was once thought dead, but is really alive and well, serving as Wilford’s protégée.
During this afternoon’s virtual panel, Snowpiercer showrunner Graeme Manson joined stars Bean, Blanchard, Connelly and Diggs to tease the power struggle that will continue to dominate the narrative in Season 2, causing a dangerous rift aboard Snowpiercer, with passengers’ loyalties divided between Wilford and Layton. In the latest installment of the series, Wilford offers up a new train, new technology and a new plan for humanity, as Melanie comes upon a discovery that could radically alter its fate.
For Manson, one of the key points about Season 2 is that it marks a shift in power between Melanie and Andre, with Layton taking up the responsibility of forging a new democracy. “Then, Wilford’s train arrives on the horizon, and Season 2 is this very timely examination of authoritarianism coming up against a fledgling democracy, and the difficulties of that,” the showrunner said. “It finds Melanie and Layton on the same foot, which [marks] the next chapter of this relationship. So, Season 2 offers a lot more, with the complication of Wilford, the terrible nemesis, and then Rowan’s character.”
With regard to Alexandra, one major storyline coming up will chart her evolving relationship with both Mr. Wilford and her mother. “There’s a great story coming up, which is how she’s been held in sway by Wilford, and how her perception has been shaped towards her mother,” Manson said. “But when she sees her mother in action, and begins to understand who her mother is, it begins a very, very interesting Season 2 journey for her.”
While discussing Snowpiercer Season 2, Diggs noted that the show will remain as timely as ever, going forward, continuing to hold up a mirror to the very frightening, and very real issues faced in the U.S., and in the world at large. “I think what the show has revealed itself to be about is a society that’s constantly reinventing itself. The things it brings to life are, what is the idea of democracy? How does that function during crisis? How much trust do you want to put in your leaders? There’s a whole lot of systems analysis going on,” the actor said. “I think one of the things Snowpiercer brings to life is the danger of a society that just allows things to happen to them, [and] I think that’s one of the more instructive things about the show.”
Developed by Manson and Josh Friedman, Snowpiercer’s first season will be available on HBO Max in January, following its debut as the #1 new cable entertainment program this past May. For a look at what’s to come in Season 2, click on the video below.