If you’ve been paying attention to the troubled post-production period of Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer, you’re likely aware that there has been a considerable amount of conflict between the director and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein over cuts to the post-apocalyptic thriller. Now, however, Bong seems more optimistic about the possibility that his version of Snowpiercer may end up in U.S. theaters after all.
While presenting a black-and-white version of his film Mother at the Mar del Plata Film Festival earlier this week, Bong made the follow statement about the current status of edits to Snowpiercer:
I stayed in New York for two weeks before coming here to Mar del Plata, mostly because of this matter. And the good news is that after all the speculation and comments about that 20-minute cut, and considering the original version that was released in Korea and France also will be released in Japan and Hong Kong, we have been talking a lot about keeping the original cut for the U.S. release, so what I can say is… have faith.
Weinstein’s insistence on trimming up to twenty minutes of Snowpiercer before its U.S. release has provoked a great deal of ire from those involved with the film and others across Hollywood. Stars Tilda Swinton and Chris Evans, screenwriter Kelly Masterson and Bong himself have all voiced their frustration and anger with the TWC exec’s determination to get his way, though some more publicly than others.
Adding even more gasoline to the fire is insider buzz that Bong’s cut actually tested better with American audiences than Weinstein’s at recent screenings. The exec is notorious for getting his way, whether he’s bullying the MPAA into altering ratings or forcing directors to cut their films, but Bong has likely put up a stronger fight and has more supporters than Weinstein expected.
Additionally, Bong’s cut of Snowpiercer has been met with resounding success overseas. In France, it received overwhelmingly positive reviews and became the highest-grossing Korean release of all time in that country, opening second against Thor: The Dark World. Meanwhile, Bong’s cut earned Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography at the 33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards.
Weinstein has justified his determination to trim Snowpiercer‘s length by stating that American audiences “want a more speedy tempo” than Bong’s version currently provides. However, widespread support for Bong and international acclaim for his cut is likely forcing the exec to reexamine his point of view.
Though Snowpiercer touched down in South Korea and France in August and October, respectively, the battle between Bong and Weinstein has prevented the film from scheduling a U.S. release date. Hopefully, the debate will be over soon, so we can finally see what all of the fuss is about.
In the meantime, however, you can click through a plethora of new images from Snowpiercer, which highlight the grimy, bizarre and diverse aspects of the film’s setting – a massive, moving train that houses the lone survivors of humanity after a modern-day ice age wipes out all civilization. The pics also include some action shots, as lower-class passengers on the Snowpiercer rise up in a fiery rebellion against the richer denizens of the train. Check it all out below.