We have seen a number of international trailers and featurettes for Snowpiercer, but no domestic videos for Korean director Joon-ho Bong's English-language debut, since it still doesn't have a domestic release date yet. A new report has surfaced that reveals Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company want the filmmaker to cut at least 20 minutes out of the film, to make it more accessible to American audiences.
Here's what English writer and festival program Tony Rayns had to say, after speaking with the filmmaker at Snowpiercer's premiere in Seoul, South Korea.
"TWC people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film 'will be understood by audiences in Iowa ... and Oklahoma.' Leaving aside the issue of what Weinstein thinks of its audience, it seems to say the least anomalous that the rest of the English-speaking world has to be dragged down to the presumed level of American mid-west hicks"
Tony Rayns revealed that Bong is against the cuts, because they would eliminate a lot of the character details to make it seem like more of an action movie, and that Harvey Weinstein is adding opening and closing voiceovers. Tony Rayns also added that the director hopes exhibitors in other countries fight to get his original cut.
"Nobody (least of all Bong himself) is optimistic that his rear-guard actions against the 'Weinstein version' will get his original version released in English-speaking territories, but I hope that Oz, like the UK, will fight the good fight to protest Weinstein's cuts. If the 'Weinstein version' flops in theaters, it may at least speed up release of what I'm sure Weinstein will call 'the director's cut' on Blu-ray and DVD."
Snowpiercer, which stars Chris Evans, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, and Octavia Spencer, is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a global Ice Age has killed nearly everyone on the planet, except for the survivors on a perpetual motion train dubbed the Snowpiercer. The film debuted in South Korea over the weekend, taking in the equivalent of $21.4 million in its first five days in release.