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Bong Joon Ho Finished Writing First of Two ‘Parasite’ Followup Movies: ‘I’m Splitting My Brain in Half’

Bong said in early 2020 he was too tired to start a new project after the "Parasite" Oscar campaign, but he still churned out one script.

FILE - Bong Joon Ho poses in the press room with the awards for best director for "Parasite" and for best international feature film for "Parasite" from South Korea at the Oscars in Los Angeles on Feb. 9, 2020. Bong Joon Ho won a total of four awards, including one for best original screenplay and best picture.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Bong Joon Ho

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Bong Joon Ho fans are getting one step closer to discovering how the Oscar-winning director will follow up “Parasite.” During a 90-minute conversation with Rian Johnson on “The Director’s Cut” podcast (listen to the entire episode in the embed below), Bong confirmed he has finished writing the script to one of two “Parasite” followup projects. The director spent 2020 writing both scripts simultaneously, telling Johnson, “It feels like I’m splitting my brain in half left and right writing these two scripts. But I finished one last week.”

For awhile it seemed like Bong was heading into a long hiatus following his record-breaking “Parasite” campaign, which started in May 2019 at the Cannes Film Festival and ended in February 2020 at the Academy Awards. In a March 2019 conversation published on The Atlantic, Bong admitted to fellow director Kelly Reichardt that he was having a hard time overcoming the exhaustion of Oscar season and getting back to working on his new scripts.

“Now that I finally have time, I’m trying to get back on it, but I’m so exhausted, mentally and physically,” Bong said at the time. “I’m just a shell of a human.”

Bong told press backstage at the 2020 Oscars following his Best Picture win that he had started writing two projects before heading to Cannes with “Parasite.” The director added, “I’m continuing to work on them, nothing has changed because of these awards. One is in Korean and one is in English.” The specifics of these projects have yet to be revealed, although Bong told Variety last year that each script is comparable to the scope of “Parasite” and his 2009 film “Mother.”

“The Korean film is located in Seoul and has unique elements of horror and action,” Bong said. “It’s difficult to define the genre of my films. The English project is a drama film based on a true event that happened in 2016. Of course I won’t know until I finish the script, but it has to be set half in the U.K. and half in the U.S.”

Is Bong’s newly finished script for the Korean-language project or the English-language project? The filmmaker wouldn’t say.

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