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The Weinstein Company does have some experience releasing edited versions of their films to American audiences, so it was more disappointing than surprising when we learned that they were going to be cutting footage from Bong Joon-ho’s upcoming apocalyptic-future film Snowpiercer. Insinuations that Americans are too dumb to grasp the South Korean edit really stings. Fortunately, Bong has allayed some fears by revealing at a recent press event (via XinMSN) that he is involved with putting the American version together - so at least it wasn’t edited down by some studio hack. It still feels like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound, but it’s something.
“I came here after editing the American version,” the filmmaker said, while speaking about his overseas round of Snowpiercer premieres. “I’ve never produced a new version for overseas premieres, and this is the first time I’m making a new version.” All three of those sentences make it pretty clear that he is taking full responsibility for the version the U.S. will be seeing.
Not only that, but the damage may be less severe than the 20-minute beheading that was initially reported. “Weinstein is actually being pretty soft towards editing, probably because it’s noticed now critics have praised the film and know how angry movie fans get over new edits," he said. "They even asked me which parts I want to include in the film.”
People may have sounded a little petty complaining about only getting a trimmed-down version in the U.S., but at lease the voices were heard - if not fully embraced. Bong gets nearly all of the credit, of course, for continuing to create films that are worth making such a fuss over, but film fans get a pat on the back for speaking so loudly as well.
The film is set on a speeding, perpetual motion-powered train called the Snowpiercer that runs non-stop through all parts of a world following the beginning of a man-made Ice Age. As time passes, those inside the train fall into a class system. The lower class riders in the back of the train start a revolution to take control of the engine and drama ensues. The movie stars Chris Evans, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremner, Song Kang-ho, Go Ah-sung, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell and Alison Pill.
Unfortunately, there still isn’t a release date set for the U.S., though I assume that’s coming soon if the re-edit is completed. The way it’s looking, we’ll end up seeing the Bong-less The Host 2 before Snowpiercer. Below is the international version of the trailer: