If you have been paying attention to German media today (and if you haven’t, why the hell not?), you already know that Bong Joon-ho’s anticipated Snowpiercer began screening for critics at the Berlin International Film Festival. And while European audiences get their first look at the latest from the controversial director of The Host and Mother, U.S. audiences get a bit of good news about the version that they are eventually going to get to see back in the States.
Bong’s film is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in a world that’s about to plunge into an ice age thanks to decisions human made which have drastically screwed with nature’s balance. Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Ko Asung star in the story of the last remaining human survivors riding on the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. As one might expect would happen in such a unique scenario, classes begin to divide, creating tension and chaos in a claustrophic location that can’t handle such stress.
Check out this international trailer, which helps sell the grimy, dingy mood of Snowpiercer.
There has been additional stress tied to the post-production of the film, though. The director and Harvey Weinstein – who will distribute the film via The Weinstein Company – disagreed over the length and pace of the final cut. Bong submitted a cut that ran roughly 2 and a half hours. Weinstein wanted it trimmed for U.S. consumption. American fans of Bong’s previous films were furious, demanding to see the director’s complete vision. Today, they have won out.
Deadline reports that the dispute between Bong and Weistein "has been resolved," and that the uncut version of Snowpiercer will open in the U.S. after all. Instead of the film getting a wide release as planned however – a move made possible no doubt to the presence of the bankable Evans in a non-Marvel role – it will receive a platform release. "I am told the picture is not being dumped," Mike Fleming writes for the site, which is the best news Bong’s fans could have hoped for at this stage.
Meanwhile, several U.S. critics were able to see the uncut Snowpiercer in Berlin, but only Alex Billington of First Showing has posted a reaction, stating:
He must not know about the conflict resolution happening back here in the States. So, celebrate, film fans. We won a significant battle today. Support Snowpiercer when it reaches a theater near you, and producers might think twice about asking directors to go back and trim the work they want their viewers to see.