Earlier this month, TNT announced it would be moving up the release of its new science fiction series, Snowpiercer, by a couple of weeks in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And now we have a new full trailer to give us a closer look at what we can expect: essentially a reboot of the critically acclaimed 2013 film by Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), fleshed out into a full-length series.
Bong’s film itself was an adaptation of a 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, about remnants of humanity trying to survive an ice age inside a 1,001-car train. The train is run by a reclusive transportation magnate named Mr. Wilford, who has separated the passengers according to class and has a nefarious plan to ensure life on the train remains sustainable.
The film starred Chris Evans as revolutionary leader Curtis, with Tilda Swinton as second-in-command Minister Mason. Bong shot much of it on a specially constructed set: a train mounted on a giant gyroscopic gimbal, the better to mimic the movements of an actual train. Snowpiercer earned critical raves and went on to gross $86 million worldwide against a roughly $40 million production budget.
TNT’s series is set seven years after the climate catastrophe that produced the ice age. Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Blindspotting) plays Layton Well, a prisoner at the tail end of the train who spends much of his time sniffing Chronole (basically industrial waste) until he gets caught up in a revolutionary struggle against the imposed social hierarchy abroad Snowpiercer. Jennifer Connelly (Alita: Battle Angel) co-stars as first-class passenger Melanie Cavill, who is the Voice of the Train, responsible for daily public announcements. The show’s large ensemble cast also includes Mickey Sumner (The Borgias, also daughter of musician Sting) as brakeman Bess Till, who stumbles upon a mystery that threatens the train’s status quo.
The first teaser dropped in January, providing snippets of life aboard the fictional train. We saw the opulent first-class accommodations and children in a classroom being indoctrinated, chanting praise to the great Mr. Wilford and “to the engine eternal!” There were lots of impressive shots of the train racing through a desolate frozen landscape and hints of a brewing rebellion.
The new trailer opens with the by-now-familiar panoramic shot of the train speeding through ice and snow as the sun rises. Melanie wishes the passengers a good morning, along with the daily weather report: outside temperatures of -119 degrees Celsius (or about -182 degrees Fahrenheit). “We are seven years, eight months, and 13 days from departure,” she intones. We see Lilah Anderson (Alison Wright), who works in the train’s nail salon, addressing the privileged passengers in the upper classes, reminding them that Mr. Wilford runs the train on three principles: “work, honor, and order.”
But that order is in danger of unraveling, thanks to rising tensions in the lower-class cars. “They keep pushing, and it’s time we push back,” one of the rabble-rousers declares. We already know Layton gets drawn into that rebellion, and based on a brief shot of carnage, the inevitable clash doesn’t go well for the lower-class passengers. The trailer ends with Melanie musing, “Sometimes you have to lose something to find it again. Once you pass through that door, there’s no turning back. “
Snowpiercer debuts on TNT on May 17, 2020, in the United States and on Netflix outside of the US and China.
Listing image by YouTube/TNT