Snowpiercer is about a giant train that contains all of humanity and can never stop running. That might sound like a fun concept for a two-hour movie, but how do you keep it going for a couple of seasons without audiences getting bored? As star Jennifer Connelly explained to Gizmodo, there’s a device that helps passengers experience life off the train, and the showrunner teased one day disembarking for real.
During a red carpet event at San Diego Comic-Con, Gizmodo asked Connelly how Snowpiercer could keep audiences engaged for at least two seasons (the show received an early renewal) when the whole thing takes place on a train they can, theoretically, never escape. She teased a “device” that takes passengers off of the train… in a sense.
“I’m gonna be a little cryptic, but there is a device which lets us explore other times and other places on the train as well,” Connelly said.
We asked the other stars of the show to elaborate, and we found out about the Night Car’s true capabilities. Lena Hall plays Miss Audrey, the madame of the Night Car, which is a nightclub that hosts the train’s sex workers. But according to Hall, that’s not her character’s only purpose. Miss Audrey is the device. She’s the train’s archivist and unsanctioned therapist, who has a special ability to access people’s memories and give them a chance to experience their lives from before the world basically ended.
“I run the brothel, but I’m also this empath. And through psychic connection, I’m able to help people through their grief from their past life. And so we get to watch and see what they went through during The Freeze.” Hall said. “So there’s there are ways that we get off the train, you know, and get out and see what happened in the past.”
“These people lived in the world we live in today, and then it was all taken away. So they have their memories, and they have their lost family and lost friends and lost possessions and their homes. I think, through them and their stories and that loss, you kind of escape into that past world. Through their eyes and their memories,” Mickey Sumner, who plays Bess Till, elaborated.
But the Night Car is not the only way Snowpiercer could get us off the train over the course of the show. As a reminder, the series follows the original graphic novel series, Le Transperceneige, and not the 2013 movie adaptation. The survivors venture into other locations in later books and showrunner Graeme Manson shared that the TV show can and may very well do the same — after a couple of seasons.
“After the first graphic novel, they really break the mould. People leave the train. The train leaves the tracks. They go to bunkers. They discover other worlds. There’s elements of that, that can come into this show as we move along,” Manson said. “I feel really confident for a couple — or three seasons, of not leaving the train. But then it’s possible, you know, that… we’ve got to go to Ice Station Zebra.”
“You’ve got to go to Ice Station Zebra,” he added, pointing at Steven Ogg, who’s playing Pike. “And basically we do Moon, you, that’s the whole season.”
“I love that,” Ogg replied. “So there, I mean there’s yet another [idea]. I don’t know how many you’re looking for here. I mean, we can go on. He’s a writer, I’m a man of ideas. How many do you want?”
I asked for as many as he’d like, so we’ll see what happens. Snowpiercer debuts on TBS sometime in 2020 in the U.S. with no news of an Australian premiere.