Station Eleven on HBO Max Trailer, Cast, Plot - What Is Station Eleven About?

UniqueThis 13 Nov 3

In March 2020, at the dawn of the coronavirus pandemic in America, it felt, for a time, as if everyone was reading Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. “I don’t know who in their right mind would want to read Station Eleven during a pandemic,” a bemused Mandel wrote on Twitter. In a time when life imitates art to a frightening degree, who would want to read a novel set in the aftermath of a lethal pandemic that takes out 99% of the global population, she was wondering. The answer: an awful lot of us.

Station Eleven fans gobbled up the prescient novel, which first released back in 2014, and eagerly awaited its HBO Max adaptation, planned since 2019. Now, the TV adaptation's debut is finally in sight, with a full-length trailer offering a thrilling first look at the series (streaming above).

Read on for everything we know about Station Eleven so far.

What is Station Eleven About?

Station Eleven opens with a shocking death: Arthur Leander, a middle-aged actor, drops dead on stage while playing King Lear. Though it’s presumed that a heart attack took Arthur down, we’ll soon learn that he is an early victim of the Georgia Flu, a mounting pandemic characterized by a lightning-fast incubation period and a staggering mortality rate. Soon enough, 99% of the world’s population is wiped out, and humanity must rebuild in the aftermath. Station Eleven ping-pongs around before, during, and after the pandemic, following a constellation of characters across the seismic changes in their lives. Those characters include Jeevan, a struggling paramedic; Kirsten, a child actor working on King Lear; Miranda, Arthur’s ex-wife, who creates a comic book called Station Eleven; and members of the Traveling Symphony, a ragtag troupe that travels the pandemic-ravaged nation to put on Shakespeare’s plays. The novel is beloved for subverting familiar post-apocalyptic tropes, like violence and infighting among survivors, in favor of asking enduring questions about how we band together after disaster, and how art keeps us alive.

The trailer opens on Jeevan and Kirsten buying a huge haul of groceries, while the wary cashier asks if they’re stocking up because of “that thing.” We then see the world descend into chaos, from an overrun hospital to a burning ferris wheel to an abandoned building engulfed in snow. “There is no before,” the narrator intones over visuals of settlement camps. “Only now.” Fans of the book will recognize the trailer’s voiceover as lifted from the Station Eleven comics, which weave through the novel’s various timelines.

Who’s In the Cast?

Heading up the cast are Himesh Patel as Jeevan and Mackenzie Davis as an adult Kirsten. Matilda Lawler plays a younger Kirsten, with Danielle Deadwyler as Miranda and Gael Garcia Bernal as Arthur.

As for the creative team, Station Eleven is created and written by Patrick Somerville, who also created Netflix’s acclaimed miniseries Maniac. All ten episodes are directed by Hiro Murai, a music video director perhaps best known for his work on Atlanta.

When Will Station Eleven Arrive on HBO Max?

Station Eleven’s ten episode season will begin streaming on December 16. Watch this space for updates as we continue to learn more.

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