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Bong Joon-Ho To Produce Korean Sea Thriller 'Haemoo,' Authors Of 'Snowpiercer' Novel Discuss American Cut

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by Charlie Schmidlin
November 1, 2013 12:21 PM
1 Comment
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Chris Evans, Snowpiercer

No matter the extent to which director Bong Joon-ho is collaborating with Harvey Weinstein on cutting his sci-fi thriller “Snowpiercer” (our review) for U.S. release (now pushed to 2014), it's clear he's hasn't let the hold-up slow him down for future projects. The start of this month saw Bong discussing his next likely directorial effort “Okja," a U.S. and Korea-set film about “a very unique woman,” and now he's settling into a producer role for a project that brings together some of his former collaborators.

Variety reports Bong will executive produce “Haemoo," a $6 million melodramatic thriller to be directed by his former co-screenwriter on “Memories of Murder," Shim Sung-bo. The film will be Shim's feature debut, and focuses a young crewman aboard a fishing boat who attempts to save a female immigrant being smuggled across the border when their vessel sustains heavy damage. Park Yu-chun—a pop idol in his native Korea—plays the lead sailor, while “The Chaser” star Kim Yoon-sok portrays the boat's captain. “Snowpiercer” cinematographer Alex Hong adds his talents to the film as well.

“Haemoo” began production earlier this month, aiming for a spring 2014 release in Korea; meanwhile, Bong's “Snowpiercer” continues its push and pull for a proper release, and a new AlloCine interview (via Bleeding Cool) with the authors of the film's source novel “Le Transperceneige”, Jean-Marc Rochette and Benjamin Legrand, have yielded a new possible source of contention. [SPOILERS BELOW]

Speaking about the Weinstein's proposed cuts to the film, Rochette explained, “From what I understand, they want to make cuts to the early psychological presentation of the characters—which is perfect, so I don't see much that can be removed. The violence, they will keep, because it doesn't bother Americans so much.” However, he says, one violent scene in particular may find itself excised due to its context within the U.S. “I think they want to cut the school scene, because to pull a trigger in a school in the United States—well. Besides, the kids are vile. It bothers me because it's one of my favorite scenes, but I'm afraid they'll cut it.”

The exact nature of the scene in question for now remains clear to a select number of audiences, the filmmakers and Harvey Weinstein, but let's hope once “Snowpiercer” finds an eventual release in the States next year, it'll remain intact. Because as we noted in our review, cutting anything from the flick as it stands right now, would be nothing short of "vandalism." Check out two new posters for the movie below (via Recent Movie Posters).

Snowpiercer Poster
Snowpiercer Poster


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1 Comment

  • Neil | November 1, 2013 5:42 PMReply

    I can kind of - and I mean "kind of" - understand what is ticking Harvey Weinstein off about the scene. Of all the scenes in "Snowpiercer", the school scene is the one that feels most like a Bong Joon-ho scene: in that the comedy is very dark and would work gangbusters if the scene played out in Korean. What's interesting about the scene though is that it comes out darker and more uncomfortable in English, while if Bong shot it in Korean it would be funnier. It's a scene that really answers the question of what an English language Bong Joon-ho film is. It also shows that Bong's style would work differently but alas quite well in English. I was mad at Weinstein also before I saw the film but since then I just want to praise the flick instead of hurling insults at a version I have yet seen. Can't wait for more folks to see the director's cut!

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