Snowpiercer Pilot, and Potential Series, Headed to TNT

"Snowpiercer" has moved one stage closer to becoming a TV series with the news that TNT has ordered a pilot and "backup scripts," according to a Monday report from Deadline.

The report links the project, which has been in the works for over a year, more closely to the 2013 Chris Evans/Tilda Swinton film adaptation, directed by Song Kang-ho, than the 1982 cult french graphic novel "Le Transperceneige" by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochelle, on which that film was based. Yet the long-form nature of television drama will likely require more of the plot from the original source text, later retitled "The Escape," and its two sequels "The Explorers," first published in 1999, and "The Crossing" first published in 2000.

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For those unfamiliar with the story, "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.

The main plot follows a group from the last carriage who struggle to overcome the train's strict class system and make their way towards the engine, which is rumoured to be slowing down. Other plot strands include a virus that begins to ravage the the population of the Snowpiercer and the existence of another train.

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The pilot is currently planned to be co-produced by Tomorrow Studios and TNT's own Studio T, with Josh Friedman, one of the writers behind the 2005 "War of the Worlds" remake and the "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" TV series, set to serve as writer, executive producer and show runner.

No cast have yet been announced, but the pilot's eventual stars have a formidable task ahead of them to match up to the magnificently vile portrayal of over-blown middle-ranking authority presented by Tilda Swinton's character Minister Mason in the film version.

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