I cannot wait to see Bong Joon-ho’s reportedly stunning new film, Snowpiercer, but sadly it sounds like the version we will all get to see will not be the version the director wanted us to see.
It was reported some time ago that Harvey Weinstein intended to cut Snowpiercer by a massive 20 minutes for its UK, US and Australian release. Weinstein basically said he needed to dumb down the movie for the target audience, and naturally fans were angry. Weinstein has a history of butchering films, which has in turn earned him the nickname “Scissorhands”. He is especially brutal when it comes to Asian films, with Shaolin Soccer, Hero and Princess Mononoke all falling foul of his cuts (Shaolin Soccer had more than half an hour removed!).
So, we all breathed a sigh of relief when Joon-ho himself came out recently and said that the cuts Weinstein intended for Snowpiercer were not that bad, and that the overall viewing experience would not be affected. However, it would appear that the director, who’s past credits include The Host and Memories of Murder, may have been a little optimistic.
Ahead of a screening of the film at the Busan Film Festival, Joon-ho told critics that this version would be considerably different to the version eventually released to the UK, US and Australia. While territories like France, Taiwan and Japan would get to enjoy the version the director intended to show, the rest of us would see the butchered version, which now Joon-ho is reportedly furious about.
“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,” Bong said at the screening.
Snowpiercer is written and directed by Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Memories of Murder)
The cast includes Song Kang-ho, Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer and Luke Pasqualino. Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Thirst, Stoker) produces.
The film opened on 1st August 2013 in South Korea, but no UK or US release date has been announced yet.
Snowpiercer is set in a future where, after a failed experiment to stop global warming, an Ice Age kills off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. A class system evolves on the train but a revolution brews.