Bong Joon-ho’s Cut of SNOWPIERCER Will Remain Intact for the U.S. but Will Receive Limited Release

     February 7, 2014


The saga of releasing Bong Joon-ho‘s post-apocalyptic action film Snowpiercer has come to a close.  For months, there’s been wrangling behind the scenes between Bong and producer Harvey Weinstein about which cut to release in the U.S. Bong, obviously, wants his cut, which was a huge hit when it was released in his native South Korea last August.  Weinstein wanted twenty minutes removed to put a heavier emphasis on the action.  It started to look like the film would remain stuck on the shelf (Weinstein has been known to do that), but today they’ve come to a reasonable compromise.

Hit the jump for more.  The film stars Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Alison Pill, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song, and Ko Asung.

According to Deadline, Bong’s contract with The Weinstein Company stated that the movie would get a wide release, but Weinstein felt that the movie was too long at “just beyond two and one-half hours” because heaven forbid that people should have to sit still that long during an action film (Even though audiences do it all the time for big summer blockbuster).

The compromise between the two parties is that Bong’s original cut will make its way into the U.S., but it will receive a platform release with an expanding roll out based on the film’s box office success.  At the very least, even if the film doesn’t come to your city, the home release will presumably still be Bong’s cut.

Obviously, it would have been nice if the director’s cut received a wide release, but given the choice between a director’s cut on a limited release versus Weinstein’s cut on a wide release, I’ll choose the former every time.  Now all the movie needs is a release date.


  • randommale7

    Glad to hear that!

  • The Flobbit

    Matt, besides The Hobbit, name one 2 and a half hour blockbuster that audiences sit through.

    • radogado

      Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

    • Andrew

      The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Avatar, Titanic, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, any of The Lord of the Rings movies, or any of the Harry Potter movies, Pirates of the Caribbean: at World’s End, the Da Vinci Code, 2012, King Kong, Inception,…. You’re right dude, I can’t think of a single one.

      • Person

        I don’t think any harry Potters were 2.5 hrs long, were they? But yeah, good list.

      • The Flobbit

        Thank you. It’s clear there were more than I thought. Funny how some movies seem longer than others…

    • krstphr

      Serious question?

      • The Flobbit

        No, of course there are many. I was merely asking for some examples…

    • Mixed Race rich kid NYC


      • The Flobbit

        I see you are finally recognizing your true nature. Good work!

      • Mike

        These 2 guys are the dumbest most vocal commenters on this site.

      • The Flobbit

        If you think I am dumb, you haven’t seen the half of it.

    • Leo Spaceman

      I don’t even like to bother with movies that are less than 2 hours long. Obviously, I do, but to me a blockbuster should be at minimum 2 and a quarter hours long.

      • The Flobbit

        I absolutely agree. But there are plenty of people out there who would not want to sit through a film of any length. I pity them.

    • Strong Enough

      damn Andrew got you

    • doc

      The Avengers

  • The Flobbit

    But anyways, this is great news. Snowpiercer has been on my radar for a long time.

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  • GrimReaper07

    YES! My most anticipated movie of the year by far.

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  • Oi.

    I don’t know where this 2 and 1/2 hour quote comes from. The original non butchered cut is only a little over 2 hours at 126 min. Length wasn’t an issue.

    As reported earlier Weinsten was concerned it wouldn’t play in Iowa or Oklahoma. Cuts would have been to character scenes and he wanted to add a voiceover to explain what all the action was about all while making public noises how he was making the film “better”.

    I don’t think the timing of this turn around is a coincidence. It’s happening as Snowpiercer is playing at the Berlinale (after Weinsten blocked it from the TIFF). More people in the industry and reviewers seeing the film probably made it more and more obvious it didn’t need Harvey’s magic scissors. Now he can can give it a platform release and if he’s feeling vindictive enough under promote it if it bombs in the U.S he can claim he was right all along.

  • paul h

    Why any film maker of any worth decides to work with the Weinsiens is beyond my comprehension.

    • Rick Dane

      Well there’s a little thing called distribution, but now I don’t know why either. Jackie Chan wanted to get his movies to a wider audience in American and unfortunately he picked Weinstein who chopped shopped his movies for the general public though in that case he’s no different than New Line Cinema in his chopping up of Jackie Chan movies for American consumption.

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