Snowpiercer released a trailer during the panel at Comic Con on Saturday. Creator and showrunner Graeme Manson spoke about the series and its relation to both the film and the graphic novels from which the film was based. Manson wanted to keep the relentless pace of the film and a simmering sense of injustice. However, he also wanted to tell the stories of other characters on the train that were largely left unexplored in the film. All classes will be presented as dynamic, with no definite “good” or “bad” side.
Manson explained that this iteration of Snowpiercer is based on the graphic novels. As in the film, it is set after the collapse of the world into an ice age. The trailer reveals that the time is six years, nine months and six days from departure. It also showed some familiar scenes, such as someone’s arm getting stuck outside of the train and frozen off. However, it gave a more in-depth version of the story and a closer look at characters from other parts of the train.
According to the official longline for the series, it begins “more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, Snowpiercer 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 play out in this riveting television adaptation.” The series has received an early season two renewal from TBS.
Connelly plays Melanie Cavill, head of hospitality on the train. Cavill is in charge of smooth relations on the train and maintains order. According to Connelly, this means that her character communicates the wishes and desires of every part of the train to the other parts, from the head to tail and vice versa. However, secrets become revealed about her character throughout the series, showing Cavill’s larger role on the train.
This is Connelly’s first major foray into television. When asked what compelled her to join the series, she claimed that she was drawn to the story, especially the complexity of her character. During the press conference, Connelly claimed her character’s heart is in the right place, although her actions might not lead to the best results.
Daveed Diggs plays Andre Layton, who is one of the stowaways that raided train, just as in the film, confined to the “tail,” or end of the train. Layton was a police detective before boarding the train, so he is granted access, after seven years, to all other classes of the train in order to solve a crime.
Alison Wright will play Ruth Wardle Melanie and Wilford’s right hand. Wardle’s job is to make sure everything on the train runs smoothly, doing whatever it takes to get the job done. According to the press conference, Ruth’s character is more akin to the matron from the movie. However, Manson explained that her character was split between multiple characters. Cavill took her title while Wardle took her persona.
Mickey Sumner also joined the panel, introducing her character Brakeman Bess Till, who is the muscle on the train. Till’s job is to keep law and order. The only teaser Sumner would reveal is that her character has steamy romance, but she would not say with which character.
Lena Hall, who plays Ms. Audrey, explained that her character is the madam of the night car, a cabaret/ brothel. She described her character as both a performer and an empath, with the job of taking people through grief from the loss of loved ones during the freeze. Besides her career as an actor, Hall also admitted to being a musician. Daveed plugged for her, demanding that all of the audience listen to her right after the panel. Hall shared at the press conference that she is excited about her character’s musical role in the series. In the panel, she teased that her character will be singing covers of popular songs but wouldn’t disclose which ones.
Pike, played by Steven Ogg, is described as Layton’s rival, and a leader of a Tailie gang. Whereas Layton incites a revolution, Pike is focused on creating chaos.
Graeme Manson explained that one of the major elements he took from the film was the element of suspense, where you never knew what was behind each door. He also revealed that there are few to no guns, so all fighting is hand to hand. He also revealed there is a lot of fighting in the series.
Graeme was one of the overseers of Orphan Black, and that the special effects on Snowpiercer were also done by the same people as Orphan Black. The enormity of the physical set was also detailed. It was built so that it was possible to link five train cars together in the studio. Grips manually shook the cars to create a more realistic effect. Daveed commented, “when you are inside of the trains it’s the most real thing ever.”
Manson added that “The feeling of making this like it really was a train was really important and it permeates it.”
A clip from episode two was shown, which Manson entitled “The Avalanche” scene. In it, the train undergoes an avalanche, reminiscent of the one from the film. In contrast to the film, however, there are some major differences, such as a view of the cockpit, in which two drivers struggle with the best way to handle such an unexpected catastrophe. Additionally, there is a cattle car, which is disrupted and kills all of the cattle. This deviates from the film, as no animals were apparent. Layton and Till assess the damage and the clip ends with the two peering into the frozen mass of dead cattle. In the panel, Diggs revealed they ate the cattle after, presumingly referring to the following scene. Before the panel, the cast was given cricket bars, like the protein bars from the film. When asked why he would eat crickets and not beef, he responded with “they’re not cute.” He brought the laughs saying PETA was going to be on him with #cricketlife. Whether or not this type of humor will be a testament to his character on the series has not been disclosed.
The series will premiere spring 2020 on TBS. Watch the trailer below.