Following a rather large setback last month, when Josh Friedman was pushed out, TNT has found a replacement showrunner for its Snowpiercer series in Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson.
Friedman, whose credits include Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, NBC’s Emerald City, and the films Avatar 2 and War of the Worlds was outed after shooting the pilot wrapped. TNT claimed “creative differences,” but Friedman took to Twitter to say he was fired for fear of not being “compliant.”
The series is based on director Bong Joon-ho’s excellent 2013 sci-fi movie of the same name – which itself is based on the French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige” – about a wintery post-apocalypse and the battle for survival on board a futuristic train and TNT executive vice president of original programming called Manson “the best conductor to navigate the thought provoking and delicate themes of the series while bringing this frozen, futuristic world to life.”
The story is based around a group of humans on a train that sped around the globe, which had been transformed into a new ice age by efforts to halt climate change. The train holds the last remnants of humanity, and is divided by classes and social status with the poorest citizens at the very back.
The series takes place seven years after the ice age event and centers on a small band of people onboard the train, with Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs leading a cast that also includes Alison Wright and Susan Park.
Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson helmed the pilot and Manson seems like a worthy choice as showrunner, Orphan Black was without a doubt high quality TV.
The movie starred Chris Evans – in another of his excellent indie choices, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell and Alison Pill among many others. Whether the story can actually support a lengthy TV series remains to be seen. The movie uses the train as a metaphor for a revolution; the working class heroes fight their way forward one car at a time, brawling from the slums of the rear cars to the wealthy front cars.
A limited episode series would work without pushing the plausibility of the story to breaking point…especially if it’s a thoughtful, gritty, political sci-fi show that does for 2018 what Battlestar Galactica did for 2005.
A premiere date for Snowpiercer hasn’t been announced just yet, but it’s expected to premiere sometime this year.
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