The battle between Bong Joon-ho and the Weinstein Company over the U.S. release of Bong’s film Snowpiercer has been one of the uglier director/distributor fights in recent memory. The film, a dystopian science-fiction story featuring high-profile actors like Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, was a big hit in Korea, but the Weinsteins have still been trying to get Bong to cut around 20 minutes out of the movie (IMDB lists its runtime at 126 minutes), and to make other changes to make the film more accessible to a mainstream American audience. First, Bong said he was basically okay with the cuts, then he resisted, then he said he was “furious” about the situation. The standoff dragged on and on. It seemed possible the film would never get released in the U.S., at least in anything resembling the form Bong intended.
At last, according to Deadline, the situation has been resolved. Bong’s cut of Snowpiercer will be the one the Weinstein Company releases domestically. Instead of changing the movie, they’re changing the release pattern; the original deal signed for the film back in 2012 specified a wide release. Instead, TWC will now distribute Snowpiercer as a “platform release with a roll out.” That means it might be tougher for cinephiles in certain parts of the country to see the film, at least in theaters, but it should also ensure that no one will have to suffer through a watered-down cut. And between VOD, digital, and Blu-ray, interested viewers should be able to find it.