2013’s decidedly offbeat post-apocalyptic Bong Joon Ho film Snowpiercer captured our collective imaginations. Now, from Tomorrow Studios, comes the series.

Snowpiercer stars Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs. Set more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, Snowpiercer centers on the remnants of humanity who inhabit a perpetually moving train with 1,001 cars that circles the globe. Class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival play out in this riveting television adaptation. Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Susan Park, Iddo Goldberg, Katie McGuinness, Lena Hall, Annalise Basso, Sam Otto, Roberto Urbina, Sheila Vand and Jaylin Fletcher also star.

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As with most post-apocalypse survival of humanity stories, the have’s are pitted against the have-nots in a struggle for supremecy and control over the fate of humanity itself. The premise depends on the train being entirely self-contained, with the lower class serving the needs of the upper classes to the point of sparking a rebellion from the rearmost cars. The story is pretty grim – the rearmost cars have to resort to occasional cannabalism for their survival, and human life is considered expendable by the upper classes.

The original film upon which the series is based was produced in Korea, and remains the most expensive film ever created there.

In typical Hollywood business style, Snowpiercer boasts a crowded room full of executive producers, in this case all with some impressive geek street cred: Tomorrow Studios contributes Marty Adelstein (Cowboy Bebop, Hanna, Prison Break) and Becky Clements (Hanna, Cowboy Bebop, Last Man Standing); Snowpiercer’s showrunner Graeme Manson (Orphan Black), who wrote the first episode, is also an executive producer, as is the show’s director James Hawes (The Alienist, Black Mirror). They are joined by Matthew O’Connor (Continuum, Tin Man); Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Doctor Strange), and the original film’s producers Bong Joon Ho, Miky Lee, Tae-sung Jeong, Park Chan-wook, Lee Tae-hun and Dooho Choi. It’s not exactly clear why a show needs so many executive producers or what role in production each of them plays, but we suspect it has more to do with contractual obligations than actual production work.

The original motion picture Snowpiercer was based on a French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, Critics contend that while Snowpiercer is good storytelling and the production superb otherwise, the science is implausible at best, and that the graphic novel and the film and TV series that spawned from it all belong firmly in the fantasy genre.

Snowpiercer makes its debut on TNT on May 17, 2020.

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