Snowpiercer takes place entirely on a train. Thatâ€™s a risky move for a television show. As weâ€™ve seen with Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica, if a series doesnâ€™t get off the ship every once in a while, the world can start to feel claustrophobic, or even boring. Star Jennifer Connelly said thatâ€™s one of the reasons she had â€œreservationsâ€ before taking the role of Melanie. However, as she and her co-stars explained, this isnâ€™t Murder on the Orient Express. This trainâ€™s got layers.
During a red carpet event at San Diego Comic-Con, Gizmodo asked Connelly and some of her co-stars about how Snowpiercer can sustain itself for more than its two seasons if the whole thing takes place on a train that passengers cannot escape.
We previously reported on a special â€œdeviceâ€ passengers use to experience life off the train, but Connelly explained that the train itself is a massive undertaking with nearly limitless potential for a multi-season show. When she saw what it would look like, she was sold.
â€œI had similar reservations about it initially, and then I saw some of the drawings for the sets and they allayed any fears. And then when I saw them realised, itâ€™s really extraordinary,â€ Connelly said. â€œIt is a contained system but thereâ€™s such diversity. I mean, all of life is on this train, and itâ€™s pretty magical.â€
Snowpiercer is based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, rather than the 2013 film — although Alison Wright did say during the SDCC panel that her character Ruth was loosely inspired by Tilda Swintonâ€™s performance, most notably her accent.
The train itself has 1001 cars and thousands of passengers. Unlike the movie, the show plans on spending time on the entire train, not just the first class and tail end section. Co-star Daveed Diggs (Andre) tried to explain just how much possibility that means for the series.
â€œWhat season of a show have you ever watched that had 1001 sets? That took place in 1001 different locations? How many seasons deep do you have to go in any given show before you have over a thousand locations?â€ Diggs said. â€œThere are moments where our characters are looking at maps of the train, and for me, as an actor, it was a reminder of, like: â€˜Oh shit, weâ€™re not even like — look thereâ€™s no way we get to the front! Look how many cars this is!â€™â€
Steven Ogg, who plays Pike, elaborated:
We were discussing this last night: â€œIs it going to get — does it get tired that youâ€™re just on this space?â€ But no, because thereâ€™s 1001 trains, and literally the first class — or you know these different carsâ€”look so different that you feel like youâ€™re in a different environment. Itâ€™d be different, I think, if it was like Murder On The Orient Express, where thereâ€™s your train and hereâ€™s whatâ€™s happening and the environment doesnâ€™t really change. Within each car, within each section, the environment is different.
Snowpiercer has already been renewed for a second season, which promises even more exploration of the never-ending train. From the sound of things, the next seasonâ€™s cars are already in the works, and it seems like itâ€™s just the beginning.
â€œThe art and environment on the show is unbelievable, and I do not envy them with all of the things they are going to have to build in the future,â€ Diggs said.
The series debuts on TBS in 2020 in the U.S. with no word on an Australian release.