Back in August some news surfaced to the horror of Bong Joon-ho fans everywhere; that The Weinstein Company were looking to slice and dice his upcoming “Snowpiercer” by upwards of twenty minutes. While many collectively freaked, the director himself at first remained diplomatic on the matter, calling the changes “pretty soft,” even as cast members Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton were a bit more vocal about their worries. But now it seems the gloves are officially off, and those looking forward to the apocalyptic thriller have genuine reason to be concerned.
Speaking at the Busan International Film Festival where “Snowpiercer” recently screened, Bong Joon-ho noted it was one of the few territories where the film would be seen as intended. “We are still in discussions about the cut, but it is clear that this is the only director’s cut you will be able to see,” he said. While he didn’t detail what changes were being made to his movie, saying only it will be “a little bit different,” Variety notes that according to their sources, “privately he is furious.”
So where will the Harvey Weinstein version of “Snowpiercer” play? Well, The Weinstein Company have the rights to “Snowpiercer” in North America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K., which means some very key territories will be getting a compromised cut. So, what are fans to do? You could start an online petition or perhaps it’s time to ask for that region-free Blu-ray for Christmas and get ready to import the South Korean home video version whenever it arrives to see the film as the director intended.
There’s likely more to come from this story, and certainly from a promotional standpoint, Harv won’t want the director of the movie unhappy with the cut, which is rolling out to major markets around the world. How this all plays out will be interesting to see.