While The Weinstein Company outlines exactly what manner of compromised cut they will inflict upon Bong Joon-ho and his upcoming “Snowpiercer,” we can’t blame the director for wanting to move swiftly on to his next project and away from frustrating negotiations. Luckily, the talented filmmaker is flooded with potential follow-ups—having pondered offers from within Korea as well as Hollywood—and while he seems confident on which one will likely be next, Bong is eager to scale down tremendously for it.
In an interview with THR, Bong spoke about the origins of “Snowpiercer” and his methods of planning such an intricate vision, but he also dropped a few hints as to his likely next project, “Okja,” which he says features a “very unique woman” at its center.
“It will most likely be set in Korea and the U.S. with a mix of Korean and English dialogue,” he explained. “But I’m not sure if this will be my very next project. I don’t wish to work on anything with a bigger than ‘Snowpiercer,’ though the budget was pretty tight for it. It was the largest project I’ve worked on and I’d like to work on smaller films now. I’d prefer depicting worlds with more freedom to pay attention to details. I’m a small-scale person, and I’d rather work with a smaller budget if it means having more freedom.”
It’s not hard to detect some frustration in Bong’s words, having spent the past month embroiled in a debate over that exact freedom that he’s discussing. That said, he was always aware that The Weinstein Company had the final say on “Snowpiercer” where its distribution was concerned. “I escaped [Korean financier] CJ intervention but TWC has final cut on the US version. It’s my first time working like this. You have to be flexible and do a lot of convincing,” Bong told ScreenDaily in August.
Elsewhere in the THR interview, the director talks about his process and the pressure to pack up and head to Hollywood. “Directors Park Chan-wook and Kim Jee-woon have made their Hollywood debuts, and I think it’s impressive because the production system is very different, very bureaucratic from what I hear. I’m very much used to controlling everything from writing the script to casting and editing. I even draw my own storyboards. Maybe I’m not as professional as [Park or Kim] to adapt to different production systems. But I think it’s a matter of finding a good project in the U.S.,” he said.
Bong says he has an agent stateside and while he’s received “a lot of great proposals and came across some really creative scripts,” we’ll see if his “Snowpiercer” experience puts him off the possibility completely.