Bong Joon-Ho opens up about HBO’s Parasite limited series
Coming off its historic six Oscar nominations this morning, Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho has finally shared a few details about his and Adam McKay (The Big Short)’s upcoming Parasite limited series for HBO, which was previously reported last week. Speaking with Deadline, Bong revealed that the idea for the series came to him while he was first writing the script and learning that it was difficult to convey all of his great ideas into a two-hour runtime.
“With ‘Parasite,’ while I was writing the script I had so many more ideas I couldn’t convey into the two-hour running time of the film. I knew that if I had a longer running time, I would be able to tell these stories, and I that’s what I plan to talk about with Adam pretty soon.” Bong said through his translator and filmmaker Sharon Choi. “Though I’m not very familiar with the TV industry, I really consider this limited series an expanded film that can delve deeper into the stories that didn’t make it into Parasite. Adam McKay and HBO have created the amazing show Succession, so they’re very reliable and amazing partners to have.”
When the news of the limited series came out, it received a lot of mixed reactions from the film’s fans who were worried that the series might not live up to the film, especially if it would just be an English-language remake. So when asked about whether the series will be told in English or Korean, Bong says that nothing is decided yet and that everything still open for discussion as plans will start to form around March.
“I think this was the case not only for the US but for most countries including Korea, where audiences mainly watch domestic films or Hollywood blockbusters,” Bong explained. “It wasn’t very common for diverse films to cross continents and access different audiences. But I think audiences are opening up to these films and the fact that this Korean-language film was nominated for Oscars, and was really embraced by US audiences reflects that change of attitude. It’s sort of like a proof for how audiences are opening up.”
The movie Parasite follows two families: the Park Family, who are the picture of aspirational wealth, and the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks.
Parasite is a peculiar tale about two families who are worlds apart yet somewhat alike, portraying a striking reality of the world we live in. The film stars Lee Sun-Kyun (A Hard Day), Cho Yeo-Jeong (Obsessed), Choi Woo-Shik (Okja), Park So-Dam (The Priests), and Chang Hyae-Jin (Poetry).
Bong and McKay will executive produce the limited series. Kate Street Picture Company’s Dooho Choi, CJ Entertainment’s Miky Lee Cho Young Ki, Francis Chung, and McKay’s partner at Hyperbole Industries Kevin Messick will also serve as executive producers. CJ’s Kerry Ko will co-executive produce with CJ’s Fred Lee producing.