Bong Joon-ho sheds new details on HBO’s TV adaptation of Parasite

Parasite, HBO, TV, Bong Joon-ho

It was revealed last week that HBO was looking to transform PARASITE into a limited series, Bong Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed film which revolved around members of a poor household who scheme to become employees of a much wealthier family by posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals. With the film recently receiving Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film, Bong Joon-ho has dropped a few more details about this upcoming TV adaptation of his film.

Bong Joon-ho will be crafting the PARASITE limited-series along with Adam McKay (VICE), and Bong told Deadline that he “really liked Adam McKay‘s THE BIG SHORT and I loved his sense of humour, and the sharp satire he conveyed about the current American politics.” When it comes to why he’s moving forward with a TV adaptation of PARASITE, it comes down to including all the ideas he couldn’t fit into the feature film.

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 Joon-ho pointed to Ingmar Bergman‘s FANNY AND ALEXANDER as proof that an expanded feature-film could work on television. “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,” Bong said. “Adam McKay and HBO have created the amazing show Succession, so they’re very reliable and amazing partners to have.” As for whether the TV series will be in English or Korean, Bong Joon-ho told Variety that it hasn’t been decided. “We’re still very much in the early stages,” he said. “I’ll soon meet with Adam to talk about the set up. For now, a lot of things are open.

Our own Chris Bumbray caught PARASITE when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and while he was loathe to dive into spoiler territory in his review, he called the film “edgy and thoroughly unpredictable” while also praising the performance of Song Kang-ho (SNOWPIERCER). “[The actor delivers] another towering performance that’s a sharp contrast from the lovable dolt he seems to initially be playing,” Bumbray said. “We’re encouraged to laugh at their poverty early on, making the audience, in a way, culpable for what comes next, as to Bong Joon-ho, it’s obvious there’s nothing funny about poverty or elitism. This is a parable for our time, but beyond that, it’s also just a tremendously entertaining film.

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