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Bong Joon-Ho Is Plenty Pissed Off About The Snowpiercer Edits

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SnowpiercerAs director Bong Joon-ho’s English-language debut, the post-apocalyptic Snowpiercer, barrels into theaters worldwide, we in North America still haven’t heard a firm release date. Those of us who counted the film amongst our most anticipated of 2013 have had to accept the fact that we’re not going to see it anytime soon. One of the chief reasons for the delay is that The Weinstein Company, which owns the rights in our neck of the woods, has demanded 20 minutes be cut from the 120-minute film. And for the first time in this process, Bong has expressed his displeasure at the forced edits. Sources close to the filmmaker have even said that he’s furious.

Variety reports that, speaking before a recent screening in Bussan, the Mother director made sure to inform Americans, Brits, and Australians in the audience that this was going to be their only opportunity to see his film the way he intended it to be seen. He said, “We are still in discussions about the cut, but it is clear that this is the only director’s cut you will be able to see.”

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International Snowpiercer Trailer Paints An Action Packed Picture

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While there is still no word on when American audiences will lay eyes on Bong Joon-ho’s English language debut Snowpiercer, the film is the process of opening up all across the world. Next up is a wide release in France—the movie is based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige—where it opens on October 30. Building up to that release, we have a tense new trailer to make us hope that The Weinstein Company gets off their ass, decides what they’re going to do about an American edit, and get the damn movie into theaters. With every successive look, the film looks better and better.

This video shows you some of what you’ve already seen, but also includes a bunch of new footage, and throws some new plot details into the mix as well. Snowpiercer is set in the year 2031, where attempts to reverse global warming have kicked off a new ice age. The last remnants of humanity live on a train that, powered by a perpetual motion engine, endlessly circles the frozen planet. As this trailer says, this train is the world now. We’ve caught glimpses of the outside, mostly split second blips of footage, but here we get longer, wider views that present a more complete picture of what they’re dealing with.

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Snowpiercer: Bong Joon-Ho Talks Visuals And Origins

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SnowpiercerLately, most of the talk surrounding Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s (Mother) upcoming English language debut, Snowpiercer, has had been dominated by one specific topic, the rumors, founded or not, that The Weinstein Company has demanded 20-minutes of story and character development be cut from the film. Reports state that TWC commander in chief Harvey Weinstein doesn’t think American audiences will be able to understand the film. All of this controversy, all of the back and forth—there have been multiple statements on the matter—has come to overshadow the actual movie. And from early reports and reviews, Snowpiercer is one hell of a film.

Bong recently sat down with Twitch to talk about Snowpiercer, and not about the controversy. Set in the near future, attempts to reverse global warming have kicked off a new ice age. The few survivors circle the frozen wastes inside a train powered by a perpetual motion engine. Within these confines, a rigid caste system develops, full of class conflict and resentment that eventually boils over into a full-scale revolution.

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Snowpiercer International Poster Looks More At The World Less At The Grubbiness

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SnowpiercerBong Joon-ho’s (The Host) English language debut, the post-apocalyptic adventure Snowpiercer is in the gradual process of opening in theaters worldwide. North American audiences still have no clue when the film will grace our own movie screens, but after opening in the Mother director’s native South Korea, the movie is playing in some European markets, with more to follow shortly. Snowpiercer is based on French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige, and recently premiered in France. Now we have a fancy new international poster to go along with that impending release.

Snowpiercer is the story of a near future where attempts to reverse global climate change kick off a new ice age. The only survivors are contained inside of a train, powered by a perpetual motion engine, that endlessly circles the frozen wastes. Within these tight confines space and resources are limited, and a strict class system develops. This creates tension that eventually boils over into full-blown violent revolution. So far most of the art and pictures we’ve seen have focused on the passengers and discrepancy of the living conditions between rich and poor—the wealthy live a life of plenty, whereas the rest dwell in filth and despair. There have been a lot of grubby faces. This poster, however, takes a different approach.

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Snowpiercer Director Bong Joon-Ho Says There Is Still Hope That We Can See His Cut Of The Film

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BongFor those of us who all really want to see Bong Joon-ho’s preferred version of his English-language debut, the post-apocalyptic Snowpiercer, there is still hope. It was reported, gossiped about, and decried that the Weinstein Company, which owns the North American distribution rights to the film, was going to demand that 20-minutes of story and character development be cut from the film so the film would be more digestible for American audiences. Recently, however, director Bong said that nothing is finalized, while the film’s co-star Tilda Swinton did her level best to fan the flames of indignation.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, at a press conference following the French premiere, Bong said that nothing about the proposed edits has been set in stone at this point, saying, “It’s not true, it’s a rumor.” He continued by saying, “Me and The Weinstein Company are still negotiating about everything.” (It should be noted that he has recently stated that he has been working on a new cut for American audiences at the behest of TWC, so it’s out there.)

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Bong Joon-Ho Is More Or Less Okay With The Snowpiercer Edits

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SnowpiercerThe internet, myself included, threw a collective hissy fit recently when it was reported that that the Weinstein Company was going to cut 20 minutes worth of story and character from the American version of Bong Joon-ho’s upcoming English language debut, Snowpiercer. The post-apocalyptic thriller has been breaking box office records in Bong’s native Korea, and garnering glowing reviews from damn near everyone who has seen the film. Was our communal outrage an overreaction? Probably. Well, someone finally caught up with the director himself and asked him what he thinks of the proposed changes. In typical fashion, Bong gives a diplomatic answer, calling the cuts soft, and indicating that he is heavily involved in the process.

In Denmark, where Snowpiercer premieres this week, Bong told MSN that he just came from working on the American version. This is the first time he’s been compelled to make different cuts of a film for various overseas markets—much of the world will get his version, while North America and parts of Europe will see an edited form of the film. When asked about his feelings on the situation, Bong replied, “Weinstein is actually being pretty soft toward editing, probably because it’s noticed how critics have praised the film and know how angry movie fans get over new edits. They even asked me which parts I want to include in the film.”