In early August rumors were swirling that The Weinstein Company, which is distributing Korean director Joon-ho Bong’s Snowpiercer in the U.S., would be making significant changes to Bong’s original cut to (theoretically) make the film more palatable to a mainstream western audience. Debates have been raging as to whether “more palatable” actually means “dumbed down,” with popular opinion saying yes. Already out in South Korea, the post-apocalyptic picture which stars Chris Evans has been doing gangbusters, which only adds to the questions of why Weinstein feels to need to re-cut the movie. Which, according to a statement from Joon-ho Bong, they are doing.
A reputed twenty minutes of the picture will be gone for the U.S. theatrical version of the film, and while Bong has continues to put on a rosy public face, saying cuts are under continuous negotiation, Variety is reporting that the director is (forgivably) quite miffed about the whole business. Weinstein has yet to announce a release date for the film, but it’s unlikely it comes before early next spring.
The one silver lining here is that there is sure to be (eventually) an unencumbered Blu-Ray/DVD release, or at a minimum one in foreign territories. U.S. viewers may have to work to see Bong’s original vision, but there will certainly be ways to experience it for those who are interested.