UPDATE: A representative for CJ Entertainment has clarified that the company is not currently in formal discussions or negotiations to remake the film.
South Korean entertainment powerhouse CJ Entertainment is amping up its international filmmaking efforts on a quest for global prominence. The company is hoping to accomplish this mighty aim, at least in part, with a slate of remakes of South Korean box office hits for major overseas markets, most notably the U.S.
Already announced are a pair of collaborations with superstar Kevin Hart: the comedy “Extreme Job” and the dramedy “Bye, Bye, Bye.” And while details aren’t yet firm, the company is also considering an American remake of Bong Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed Palme d’Or winner “Parasite.”
“We are in very early talks right now,” said Francis Chung, vice president global business and head of U.S. productions at CJ Entertainment, the film’s backers. During a wide-ranging interview with IndieWire about the company’s international plans, Chung was expectedly mum on specifics regarding a potential American remake of “Parasite,” including who they are in talks with, and which potential stars and filmmakers they are currently eyeing for the gig.
The film marks Bong’s comeback to Korean-language film following his “Okja” (2017) and “Snowpiercer” (2013). It is also his fourth collaboration with his frequent star Song Kang-ho (“Snowpiercer,” “The Host,” “Memories of Murder”).
Ahead of any stateside redo of the film, NEON will release the Cannes-winning “Parasite” on October 11 in Los Angeles and New York, positioning the title as a prime awards season contender in the international film category and beyond. The lauded film will receive a traditional arthouse platform release.
The film made history at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first Korean movie to take the festival’s top honor. “Parasite” also topped IndieWire’s Cannes critics poll, winning honors for both best film and best screenplay. In his review, senior film critic David Ehrlich called the dark comedy-drama “giddy, brilliant, and totally unclassifiable” and one of Bong’s best directorial efforts to date.
“Parasite” opened in South Korea on May 30, with a massive home country debut of $25 million. IndieWire box office guru Tom Brueggemann noted that the figure represented about 70% of total box office that weekend: “To put that in perspective based on population size compared to the US/Canada domestic total, that would be similar to a nearly $200 million debut here. The initial number looks to have come close to the record for biggest opener ever.”