Industry trade reviews for Bong Joon-ho's sci-fi epic "Snowpiercer" were positively glowing several weeks ago as the Korean-produced, English-language feature had its first screenings ahead of its release in Korea last week.
Today though comes some bad news. The Weinstein Company, who acquired international rights to the film, will make cuts to the project ahead of its release in Western markets including North America, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Harvey Weinstein has reportedly ordered Bong to cut a fairly sizeable 20 minutes from the film's 126 minute runtime. Why? Because of fear that audiences in American mid-west won't "get it". English writer and film festival programmer Tony Rayns says:
"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."
Rayns talked with Bong the other week. The filmmaker revealed that the cuts are many of the character development scenes, with the new version streamlining the narrative into a more straightforward (and generic) action thriller. On top of that, voiceovers will now be added to the opening and closing of the film.
It means that sadly we'll probably have to wait for the DVD/Blu-ray release to see the uncut version.
Source: Inside Film