A few weeks ago, word got around that The Weinstein Company was looking to recut Bong Joon-ho’s new movie Snowpiercer by as much as 20 minutes before its U.S. release, despite the fact that the film has been a major critical and commercial success in Bong’s home country of Korea. This was, naturally, a source of consternation for Bong fans, as the Weinsteins (or one Weinstein in particular whose nickname reflects his snippy tendencies) have a reputation for mercilessly cutting their foreign acquisitions to ribbons. In fact, in the short time since that initial Snowpiercer news leaked, the Weinsteins have released a heavily edited American cut of Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster to less-than-stellar reviews.
But this week Bong himself spoke out about the Snowpiercer recut controversy, and he made it clear in an interview with Xin MSN that he wasn’t too freaked out about the whole thing:
“I came here after editing for the American version. I’ve never produced a new version for overseas premieres, and this is the first time I’m making a new version… Weinstein is actually being pretty soft toward editing, probably because it’s noticed how critics have praised the film and know how angry movie fans get over new edits. They even asked me which parts I want to include in the film.”
So relax, Korean cinema nerds; they’re not butchering Snowpiercer. Or maybe stay upset, Korean film nerds, since Bong says fans’ anger over cuts is one of the reasons the Weinsteins are staying relatively conservative with their edit.