Sophie Turner is brushing off the disaster that was Dark Phoenix as she sets her sights on a return to television. Well, technically, it’s the up-and-coming streaming service Quibi and Turner will be tackling a lead role on the series Survive but hey, it still works. It’s only been a few months since we last saw Turner in her career-making role as Sansa Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones but it looks like she’s keen to get back to the known quantity of television while also participating in the vision of a nascent streaming service looking to push some creative boundaries.
Per Deadline, Turner will play the female lead in Survive opposite 24: Legacy and Kong: Skull Island star Corey Hawkins. The series will follow “Jane (Turner) whose plane crashes on a remote snow-covered mountain and she, along with Paul (Hawkins), the only remaining survivor must pull themselves out of the wreckage and fight for their lives. Together they embark on a harrowing journey out of the wilderness, battling brutal conditions and personal traumas.”
In a statement on her casting, Turner expressed her happiness at playing Jane:
“I couldn’t be more honored to portray the role of Jane in Survive for Quibi. She’s a complex character fighting against the odds to not only save her life but to also find her own source of strength and courage. I only hope this can impact anyone struggling with self-worth to understand they are braver than they know and to seek the support they need.”
It’s nice to see Turner is ready to branch out in a new direction with her work, even if the role and plot line hew a little too close to a repurposed Game of Thrones plot line (wasn’t this Sansa’s arc for while?). Oh, and if the plot sounds familiar, that’s because you’re thinking of 2017’s The Mountain Between Us, starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet as two people trying to survive on a remote, snow-covered mountain following a — you guessed it — plane crash. In a wild twist, The Mountain Between Us is adapted from a novel written by Charles Martin and Survive is also adapted from a novel, except this one was written by Richard Abate. I’m wondering if there will be some twists in Survive aside from the usual perils of surviving the snow-covered wilderness in order to help differentiate it enough from The Mountain Between Us. Sure, I get that this is yet another installment in a popular sub-genre of drama (other wilderness survival dramas that spring to mind which seem relevant here are The Revenant and The Grey) but Survive really risks being a full-on copy right now, even down to the casting of its leads.
Then again, Survive has the unique advantage of being streamed only on the Jeffrey Katzenberg–Meg Whitman-created service Quibi (short for “Quick Bites”). What makes a Quibi show special is that each episode is, per Vanity Fair, only 7-10 minutes long. This will no doubt foster some creative storytelling decisions, which will be especially important for Survive if it wants to avoid seeming like Sansa Stark has been dropped into a remake of The Mountain Between Us.