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The Weinstein Company Reportedly Wants To Melt 20 Minutes Off Record Breaking Hit 'Snowpiercer'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
August 6, 2013 9:18 AM
16 Comments
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Snowpiercer

While we continue to wait for a U.S. release date for Bong Joon-ho's post-apocalyptic "Snowpiercer," it's smashing records at home. It reached 1 million viewers in less than two days in release, breaking a previous record set by the director's "The Host," and becoming the first film to do so in South Korean history. And yet, while the picture seems to doing just fine overseas, Harvey Weinstein reportedly wants to make some changes before he drops it in English speaking territories.

Film critic and programmer Tony Rayns is saying that the distributor is looking to snip 20 minutes from the movie, and add voiceovers to the beginning and end of the film, before opening it in North America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand or the UK. "TWC people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film 'will be understood by audiences in Iowa ... and Oklahoma,'" Rayns claims, before taking an unnecessary swipe at American moviegoers. "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."

Dropping the hyperbole for a moment, it should be noted that the upcoming North American release of "The Grandmaster" was also snipped by 20 minutes, and in fact, Wong Kar-Wai delivered a different edit to European audiences as well. Did he feel savaged by Harvey Scissorhands? Actually no, and in this recent interview, he effectively says each cut is fine by him and suits the markets they were prepared for. However, Rayns says that the director has revealed that it will be "character detail" that gets shaved, presumably to turn the 2 hour plus movie into something of a more streamlined action flick.

While naturally, we'd prefer to see the movie as Bong Joon-ho intended, maybe let's wait to see how this all turns out before fully freaking out? Rayns says "the UK will be protesting TWC's proposed cuts" though it's unclear what that exactly means. Granted, Harvey's reputation preceeds him and this could be a mess if he truly misshapes the film that's now playing abroad, so let's see how this plays out in the coming days and weeks. [Twitch]

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16 Comments

  • Mr Anonymous | August 6, 2013 9:43 PMReply

    Hasn't this film already received glowing reviews and much praise? So why fix something that ain't broke! How is cutting 20mins going to help this film?

    It doesn't need cutting! It's done big business in its homeland and the critics are already on board.

    Weinstein is a douche! He's not thinking about the director's vision, he just wants more bums on seats thus more dollar bills y'all!

  • DUH | August 6, 2013 9:52 PM

    Cause South Korean audiences (the only people who have given it glowing praise so far), are not American audiences, duh.

  • sam | August 6, 2013 8:02 PMReply

    i can't believe TWC is even asking directors to alter their already-fine films to bring them ashore. assholes.

  • Steven Flores | August 6, 2013 6:00 PMReply

    FUCK YOU HARVEY!!!

  • tyler4all | August 6, 2013 3:11 PMReply

    I'd like to watch a movie written and directed by Harvey Weinstein and then "chopped" by any one of the writer-directors he's screwed by butchering their films, all in the service of dumbing audiences down. Harvey Weinstein is NOT a filmmaker!

  • Craig | August 6, 2013 1:11 PMReply

    The critical community NEEDS to rally behind this film like they did when Universal wanted to butcher Brazil back in the day!

  • bohmer | August 6, 2013 12:27 PMReply

    not this Weinstein, I WILL NOT PAY TO SAY A GODDAM BUTCHERED MOVIE! will wait on a director's cut or something. Fucking moron.

  • Evan | August 6, 2013 11:55 AMReply

    This is fucking dumb. Is there any other way to put it? Cutting down a piece of art so it can be understood by regular film goers. This is a Bong Joon Ho film. The man is an artist and visionary. I might as well just wait and order an imported copy of the film on blu ray.

  • gert | August 6, 2013 10:37 AMReply

    Harvey Cuntstein

  • ire | August 6, 2013 9:46 AMReply

    what a bunch of twits.

  • I Am The Whale | August 6, 2013 9:33 AMReply

    Most infuriating film news I've heard in a while... Almost as annoying as John Depp blaming the failure of The Lone Ranger on critics.*

    And I do hope the UK does protest these cuts. I don't want a boring action movie without character, you WANT the character to MAKE the action interesting... What a Dumbleass.

    (*Only actually much, much, much worse because I actually give a shit about this film.)

  • weiner | August 6, 2013 9:29 AMReply

    So... Harvey cuts TWENTY MINUTES of footage from Wong Kar Wai's films and from Bong Joon Ho's new masterwork, but is happy for Tarantino's rambling self-indulgent Django to go on untrimmed? Ok.....

  • Smyth E. Alan | August 6, 2013 5:07 PM

    Yea, easily room to un-chain *twice* that amount in 'Django'

  • Thedudeabides | August 6, 2013 11:54 AM

    Agreed. Weinstein can be a real tool, especially with foreign directors. I'm so glad he didn't force PTA to cut The Master!

  • A-Man | August 6, 2013 9:30 AM

    I'm with this guy.

    Top Comment on this website EVER. Thank you x

  • nightgoat72 | August 6, 2013 9:23 AMReply

    For the love of god, STOP CUTTING MOVIES, YOU WEINSTEIN MORONS! This is really starting to piss me off.

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