Now that the dust has settled after a brutal, highly publicized battle between director Bong Joon-ho and media mogul Harvey Weinstein over the fate of Bong’s post-apocalyptic epic Snowpiercer, The Weinstein Company has announced that its on-demand branch Radius-TWC will give the film a limited theatrical run on June 27th. It’s expected that Snowpiercer will arrive on VOD either on that same date or soon after.
The conflict between Bong and Weinstein arose after the famed studio executive demanded extensive alterations be made to the director’s cut of Snowpiercer, in order to make it more palatable (read: dumb it down) for American audiences. Among other changes, Weinstein apparently wanted to cut an astonishing 20 minutes from the film and add voice-overs written by Neil Gaiman to certain scenes. Of course, Bong balked at Weinstein’s request and refused to make the changes.
Bong’s longer version, which has already received an outpouring of praise from audiences outside of the United States, apparently tested better with American audiences. That undoubtedly took some of the wind out of Weinstein’s sails. However, the embarassment that Bong caused the notoriously picky exec by fighting him over the past few months meant that Weinstein couldn’t simply roll over and let Bong declare victory. So, in exchange for Weinstein leaving the film’s content alone, TWC canned a planned wide theatrical release for Snowpiercer, opting instead for a “platform release with a roll-out.”
Though Snowpiercer perhaps won’t find the huge monetary success that many of Bong’s admirers hoped it would, at least we’ll get to see the film as the director intended us to. Given the overwhelming acclaim his cut has received (including Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography at the 33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards), it would have been a real shame if Weinstein got his way and chopped Bong’s film up beyond recognition.
Tell us, are you excited to finally be seeing Snowpiercer? And if you’ve already caught the film somewhere, what did you think of it? Sound off in the comments section!
Source: The Film Stage