HBO to develop “Parasite” limited series with director Bong Joon Ho
HBO has won the rights to adapt the award-winning movie “Parasite” into a limited series. Director Bong Joon Ho will team up with HBO’s “Succession” executive producer and director Adam McKay to develop the acclaimed South Korean film for television.
“Parasite” earned a best picture Oscar nomination on Monday — making it only the sixth film in Oscar history to earn nominations for best international feature film as well as best picture. The movie is also only the 11th foreign language film to ever be nominated for best picture in the Oscars’ 92-year-history.
HBO gained the rights after a fierce bidding war with Netflix, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The details have yet to be worked out, but Bong told Variety that he intends to expand on his film, not remake it.
“When I think of a limited series, I really think of it as an expanded film. Like Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Fanny and Alexander,’ you have a three-hour theatrical version and a three-hour TV version. So my goal is to create a high quality an expanded version of ‘Parasite,'” Bong said via an interpreter.
Bong has written and directed seven feature films, including 2013’s “Snowpiercer” and “Okja” in 2017. “Snowpiercer” has also been adapted to television, as a forthcoming series on TNT, but Bong is not attached to the project.
“Parasite” is a biting social satire about a poor family of hustlers who find jobs in the home of a wealthy family. The movie won the Cannes Film Festival’s top award, the Palme d’Or, in May — the first Korean film to ever win the award — and won best foreign language film at the Golden Globes last week.
“Adam McKay and HBO did very well with ‘Succession,’ to work with these artists who have created great works I would like to actualize this attempt to expand this film and explore all the ideas that I’ve had from the script writing stage from what could happen in between the scenes through the TV series,” Bong told Variety.
McKay, who directed the comedy hits “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights” and “Step Brothers,” has since become known for toeing the line between drama and comedy with stories taken from real life. His most recent films, “The Big Short” and “Vice,” were both nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including a win for McKay’s adapted screenplay of “The Big Short,” based on the book of the same title by Michael Lewis.
“Succession” has found similar critical acclaim. The series, which tracks the power struggles within a billionaire media mogul’s family, has earned McKay an Emmy nomination for outstanding directing for a drama series, and a win for outstanding directorial achievement in dramatic series from the Directors Guild of America.
“I really liked Adam McKay’s ‘The Big Short’ and I loved his sense of humor, and the sharp satire he conveyed about the current American politics,” Bong said Monday, Deadline reports. “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.”
“Parasite” has not only been a critical success, the “comedy drama thriller” has so far earned more than $25 million at the domestic box office, and over $132 million globally, according to Box Office Mojo.
At the Golden Globes, Bong made an appeal for more Americans to give foreign language films a chance. “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” Bong said, through his translator and fellow filmmaker, Sharon Choi, during his acceptance speech for “Parasite.” He added, “I think we use only one language: the cinema.”