Director Bong Joon Ho‘s historic win at the Oscars for Parasite is bringing back memories from another legendary Bong film: Snowpiercer.
Snowpiercer is a 2013 film starring Chris Evans, directed by Bong Joon Ho. In this action-packed, sci-fi epic, trapped survivors from a failed global-warming experiment rebel on a train as it hurtles toward disaster.
In 2012, The Weinstein Company bought the distribution rights for Snowpiercer, but Harvey Weinstein wanted changes made to it before its release. He wanted 25 minutes cut from the runtime, more action, and more focus on Chris Evans.
In a 2019 interview with Vulture, Bong described worked with Weinstein as a “doomed encounter.”
It was a doomed encounter. I’m someone who until that point had only ever released the ‘director’s cut’ of my films. I’ve never done an edit I didn’t want to do.
— Bong Joon Ho
Although Bong Joon Ho reluctantly agreed to make changes, there was one scene he absolutely refused to cut. In this scene, a train guard guts a fish in front of the rebels to intimidate them.
“Harvey hated it,” Bong told Vulture. “I had a headache in that moment: What do I do? So suddenly, I said, ‘Harvey, this shot means something to me.’ ”
To save the scene, Bong told Weinstein that it was dedicated to his father. “It’s something personal,” he said. “My father was a fisherman. I’m dedicating this shot to my father.”
This was a total lie, but it worked! In response, Weinstein told Bong that he “should have said something earlier” because “family is the most important”.
I said, ‘Thank you’. It was a f**king lie. My father was not a fisherman.
— Bong Joon Ho
Watch the scene that started it all here. (WARNING: Contains sensitive content. Viewer discretion is advised.)