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Tilda Swinton Stokes The Flames Of 'Snowpiercer'-Gate; Bong Joon-Ho Says Nothing Finalized

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist September 7, 2013 at 1:12PM

Jumping to conclusions before the facts are in is par for the course these days. As is the blind leap to vilify Harvey Weinstein over anything mildly controversial that he has even dared look sideways at (though yes, his track record is poor, but generally the dude knows what he’s doing), but at the Deauville American Film Festival in France, actress Tilda Swinton made some pointed, not-so-exactly subtle remarks about the brouhaha brewing over Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho's upcoming Weinstein sci-fi thriller, "Snowpiercer."
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Snowpiercer, Tilda Swinton

Jumping to conclusions before the facts are in is par for the course these days. As is the blind leap to vilify Harvey Weinstein over anything mildly controversial that he has even dared look sideways at (though yes, his track record is poor), but at the Deauville American Film Festival in France, actress Tilda Swinton made some pointed, not-so-exactly subtle remarks about the brouhaha over Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho's upcoming Weinstein sci-fi thriller, "Snowpiercer."

While the director played down the controversy surrounding the supposed 20 minutes that were snipped from his sci-fi epic about a train that traverses a frozen, post-apocalyptic earth (“Actually, it’s not true. It’s a rumor”), “Snowpiercer” actress Tilda Swinton didn’t exactly downplay things. “There’s no question that all English speaking audiences deserve to see director Bong’s cut, and we hope very much that we will all see it,” the otherworldly actress said, after the director claimed that most territories would be getting his director’s cut.

Swinton went on to describe the effects of the film, saying: “Maybe an effect of the film, it just occurred to me, is that when one has spent two hours in the claustrophobia of this train we can leave the cinema and feel the relief that we can make life wider, so maybe it’s a sort of aversion therapy to sit in the train for two hours.” She then added, in a not-so-subtle way, to fuel the speculation, “That’s two hours, not one hour and forty minutes.”

But what is going on with the movie? “Snowpiercer,” which costars “Captain America” himself, Chris Evans (who has remained more diplomatic about), recent Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, Jamie Bell and Boon regular Song Kang-ho, has been breaking records in South Korea and earning rave reviews, although no domestic release date has been scheduled.

"Me and The Weinstein Company are still negotiating about everything," the director said at Deauville. "The movie at the festival, the French version is my own director’s cut. In Korea, Japan, France and many other European countries have all bought my director’s cut. And for North America we are still negotiating with The Weinstein Company, we are discussing."

So, while the 20 minutes previously reported is untrue, that doesn’t mean that Harvey and his infamous Scissorhands are being kept out of “Snowpiercer.” Hopefully the potential commerciality of a sci-fi movie with a bunch of international movie stars will trump the artistic compromise of some kind of lengthy cut, but the final decision seems to still be very much in flux. 

This article is related to: Snowpiercer, Tilda Swinton, Joon-ho Bong, Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Kang-ho Song, Octavia Spencer


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