Tony winner Daveed Diggs, of Hamilton fame, has officially signed on to star in TNT’s forthcoming Snowpiercer show. The show will serve as a remake of 2013’s fantastic sci-fi thriller flick. The South Korean-Czech film, though highly acclaimed, was not widely seen upon release. The new series will certainly attempt to capitalize on the film’s strong cult status cultivated by video on demand and strong word of mouth.
The original film centers on a post-apocalyptic scenario following a terrible Ice Age. The remnants of humanity live on a train propelled by a perpetual motion engine that provides just enough power to keep the train running and warm enough to fend off the elements. Going outside is almost immediate death given the frigid conditions. The crux of the plot revolves around a revolution from the poor, starving rear-compartment dwellers as they attempt to break into the more lavish front section. The film portrays their struggles through questions of class warfare and the political intricacies of trying to survive in a barely civilized world. Think A Tale of Two Cities, but with more people getting hacked to death by hatchets.
Diggs will portray Layton Well, a tail-end prisoner trying to survive the aft section’s horrible living conditions. He’s described as a quiet thinker who has a cage full of rats. Unwillingly, he finds himself caught up in another uprising that threatens the train’s very existence.
It remains to be seen how such a violent and thought-provoking film will translate to the small screen, but it helps that original director Bong Joon Ho will return as an executive producer. Although his level of involvement is unknown, it is encouraging to see TNT taking positive steps to ensure the series matches the tone and quality of the original film. The network first ordered the show’s pilot back in the fall.
This announcement comes only a few days after Diggs’ new comedy, The Mayor, was picked up by ABC. Diggs’ doesn’t intend to appear onscreen in the show focused on a rapper who becomes mayor of a small town, but he’ll write a good deal of the series’ music.
Snowpiercer’s pilot is written by Avatar 2 scribe Josh Friedman, whose other sci-fi credits include Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Spielberg’s War of the Worlds. The pilot will be directed by Scott Derrickson whose most-recent film, Doctor Strange, was very well-received.