TNT’s Snowpiercer pilot just picked up another star. Deadline reports that Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly has joined in a lead role.
Connelly will play Melanie Cavill, who is described as “a First Class passenger who works as the Voice of the Train — responsible for making the daily announcements over its PA system. Though many in her VIP position are dismissive of the lower class passengers, Melanie is curiously fascinated by them.”
Connelly will star opposite Hamilton‘s Daveed Diggs, who plays Layton Well, “a prisoner barely surviving the harsh conditions in the tail end of the train.” Described as a quiet thinker who spends his days sniffing industrial-waste-turned-drug Chronole and tending to his rats, Layton becomes a “reluctant” participant in the struggle that could upend the hierarchy of the train.
Snowpiercer is based on Le Transperceneige, the 1982 post-apocalyptic French graphic novel by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, adapted in 2013 by Bong Joon-ho as a sci-fi thriller starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton. Unlike the film, this new series will take place seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland.
Snowpiercer is a post-apocalyptic allegory for class struggle within capitalist society and is set in a world where an environmental catastrophe has led to a new ice age. All that remains of humanity is contained on the various carriages of a perpetually moving train called the Snowpiercer. The carriages form a kind of hierarchy with the worst conditions found at the far end of the train, where inhabitants are kept in squalor and ignorance of the better conditions found in carriages closer to the engine.
Connelly won multiple awards, including an Oscar, for her role in A Beautiful Mind. She has an extensive list of past credits that include Requiem for a Dream, Blood Diamond and Once Upon a Time in America. She is no stranger to comic book adaptations, having appeared in Ang Lee’s Hulk; she is also slated to star in James Cameron’s Alita: Battle Angel adaptation. She is particularly well known for her role in the cult classic film Labyrinth.
Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson will helm the pilot and executive produce the series. The pilot is co-produced by Tomorrow Studios and TNT’s own Studio T, with Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) serving as executive producer, writer and showrunner.