Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander Feature In Beautiful First Posters For Transgender Drama ‘The Danish Girl’ Eddie Redmayne & Alicia Vikander Feature In Beautiful First Posters For Transgender Drama ‘The Danish Girl’ New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' Watch: First Trailer For Serial Killer Thriller 'Solace' Starring Anthony Hopkins And Colin Farrell Watch: First Trailer For Serial Killer Thriller 'Solace' Starring Anthony Hopkins And Colin Farrell Watch: Full Length 'Making Batman Begins' Doc, Christopher Nolan Talks Legacy Of Film On 10th Anniversary Watch: Full Length 'Making Batman Begins' Doc, Christopher Nolan Talks Legacy Of Film On 10th Anniversary ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Weinsteins Kept 'Snowpiercer' From TIFF, Wanted Neil Gaiman To Write New Voiceovers For The Film

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist December 16, 2013 at 10:09AM

A massive hit in South Korea, a big success in France, winner of Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematographer from the South Korean Film Critics Circle and a winner of Best Production Design from the 56th Asia-Pacific Film Festival, the accolades keep rolling in for Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" (read our review of the director's cut too). And yet, looming over the movie are the Weinsteins, who have nabbed the rights to the film for North America and a handful of other key territories around the world, but more crucially, have a say in the final cut.
7
Snowpiercer

A massive hit in South Korea, a big success in France, winner of Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematographer from the South Korean Film Critics Circle and a winner of Best Production Design from the 56th Asia-Pacific Film Festival, the accolades keep rolling in for Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" (read our review of the director's cut too). And yet, looming over the movie are the Weinsteins, who have nabbed the rights to the film for North America and a handful of other key territories around the world, but more crucially, have a say in the final cut. For months now, press has been swarming about their demands for a shorter version, with added voiceovers, so the post-apocalyptic thriller will play in the flyover states. But Bong Joon-ho has resisted, and the story is classic one of a studio versus a filmmaker that is playing out publicly before even a U.S. date has been announced.

Over at BFI, Tony Rayns has gone deep into the behind-the-scenes battle and uncovered even more about the struggle to get Bong Joon-ho's preferred version into release and the schemes that the Weinsteins employed to keep control over the movie. So with that in mind, if you've been wondering why "Snowpiercer" hasn't been seen on the festival circuit (other than a screening at Busan), the simple answer is Harvey. According to Rayns, programmers at Toronto and Locarno were "forbidden" from watching the director's cut of the movie provided for consideration by South Korean distributor/production company CJ Entertainment, after the Weinsteins asserted their approved cut for North America wasn't yet ready. (This is roughly around the same time both the Weinsteins and Bong Joon-ho were running separate test screenings for the movie, with the latter's original version reportedly scoring higher.) 

So, what were the changes that ruffled the features of the director? According to Rayns, they wanted 25 minutes cut out that would result in "the elimination of most of the character-detail," ultimately turning the movie into "a more conventional action-thriller." Moreover, Harvey and co. wanted the addition of voiceovers, with Neil Gaiman suggested as a potential writer for that new material.

Unfortunately, the matter doesn't seem like it will be resolved soon. Lawyers on both sides are currently trying to hash things out, and though Bong Joon-ho recently told a festival audience to "keep faith" that his director's cut is coming, nothing is certain. That being said, it seems the Weinstein grip is loosening slightly, as "Snowpiercer" will be playing the upcoming Berlin Film Festival and with the director and some cast members in attendance. Perhaps it's a sign that the Weinsteins are noticing that, in the wake of strong critical notices and big box office, "Snowpiercer" doesn't need even a single frame changed. But then again, you never know.

This article is related to: Harvey Weinstein, The Weinstein Company, Snowpiercer, TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Neil Gaiman


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates