They say a good compromise is one where no one leaves the table happy, and that probably best describes the truce reached between The Weinstein Company and director Bong Joon-Ho. After months of rumor, anger and speculation that saw the filmmaker’s fans, key cast members and the director himself lay public their displeasure about Harvey Weinstein‘s rumored plans to cut “Snowpiercer” by twenty minutes and add voiceover, the good news is that the director’s cut of the film will get a U.S. release. The bad news? It might not play at a theater near you.
Deadline reports that the movie will go into limited release only, as they claim a wide release was planned until Bong Joon-ho “turned in a cut of just beyond two and one-half hours.” But as people who have been obsessively following the film know, the director’s cut that is already in release in some territories (and is screening at the Berlin Film Festival) is actually just a shade over two hours long. It’s unclear if they’re mistaken but the site also suggests that the movie “doesn’t deliver what the [sales] agents promised” despite the fact that it has broken box office records in South Korea, and taken home a handful of awards. Hmm….
One has to wonder how much the limited release plan has to do with Harvey Weinstein’s very public declarations of late that he will be more considerate when it comes to violent movies, and will draw down on releasing them. Because it’s not like this doesn’t have the star power to justify a broader rollout, with Captain America himself, Chris Evans, in the lead, and Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Alison Pill and more in support. But as our review of the movie notes, the action in this film kicks off from the start and barely pauses for a breath. With Harvey ever increasingly aware of his public persona, taking this to 2000 theaters after being very critical of gun violence might come off badly.
Whatever the real reasons, the bottom line is “Snowpiercer” will arrive as intended. We’ll see how far the rollout goes, but if it plays in the next town over, take the drive to see it.