Snowpiercer, the latest movie from Bong Joon-ho (Korean director of acclaimed cult classics like The Host and Mother) has been picking up stellar reviews and impressive box office receipts wherever it’s been released. Unfortunately North America is not on the list of places Snowpiercer has been released, and that may not change anytime soon if something doesn’t give.
The Weinstein Company owns the North American rights to Snowpiercer and they want to make changes to the film to make it more palatable to the unwashed American masses, but Bong Joon-ho is resisting. What kind of changes are we talking about?
Well, for one the Weinsteins want to lop 25-minutes off the movie, and it’s not like the movie is three hours long to begin with (it’s a little under two). Basically the cuts would eliminate any sort of character development or nuance. They also want to cover the movie with explanatory voiceovers, possibly written by Neil Gaiman (although you’d kind of hope Gaiman would respond with, “Oh, just give it up Harvey” if asked).
Even more frustrating, the Weinstein company is actively blocking people in North America from seeing the original version of the film — Bong Joon-ho’s production company has sent his version of the film to various North American film festivals, but the Weinsteins have forbidden them from even looking at it. Lawyers from both sides are now involved, which is never a good thing.
The saddest part of all of this, is how unnecessary it all is. Snowpiercer isn’t an impenetrable subtitled art film. It’s a Hunger Games-esque, Haves vs. Have-nots action movie starring Captain America that’s mostly in English. Unfortunately give the Weinsteins an inch and they’ll cut a mile.
via The Playlist