Bong Joon Ho’s arthouse sensation “Parasite” already made history at the Academy Awards, becoming the first South Korean film to earn not only a nomination for Best International Feature, but for the Best Picture Oscar as well. Recently, the Palme d’Or-winning thriller about a lower-middle-class family who inveigle themselves into the lives of a more affluent family also made history at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, scooping up the Ensemble prize for its all-Korean cast.
Distributed in the U.S. by Neon and nearing $30 million at the U.S. box office, “Parasite” has continued to rock headlines, with director Bong recently announcing plans with Adam McKay to partner on a small-screen adaptation for HBO. Bong has now just told TheWrap even more details about how he imagines the limited-series version of “Parasite.”
“All these key ideas accumulated from when I started writing the script,” Bong said. “I just couldn’t include all those ideas in the two-hour running time of the film, so they’re all stored in my iPad and my goal with this limited series is to create a six-hour-long film.”
Bong also said that he wants to expand on the universe established in the original film by picking up on elements that were hinted at, but not explicitly explored — including one puzzling elision that surely piqued fans. “For example, when the original housekeeper Mun Gwang (Lee Jung Eun) comes back in the late night, something happened to her face. Even her husband asked about it, but she never answered,” Bong said. “I know why she had the bruises on her face. I have a story for that, and aside from that, why does she know the existence of this bunker? What relationship does she have with that architect to know of this bunker? So I have all these hidden stories that I have stored.”
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Bong recently told The Hollywood Reporter, “With cinema, you’re limited to a two-hour running time. But there were so many stories that I thought of that could happen in between the sequences you see in the film, and some background stories for each character. I really wanted to explore those ideas freely with a five- or six-hour film. You know, with Bergman’s ‘Fanny and Alexander,’ there’s a theatrical version and there’s a TV version. So with the TV series for ‘Parasite,’ I think we’ll be able to create a high-quality, expanded film.”
It remains to be seen whether the HBO version of “Parasite” will unfold in English or Korean, but Bong has said that plans for the upcoming prestige drama will start to take shape beginning March, after the Oscars are over.