Tilda Swinton No Longer in Bong Joon Ho’s ‘Parasite’ Series: ‘Very Happy to Be a Cheerleader’

Swinton was reported to star in the series also hailing from Adam McKay, marking her third collaboration with Bong after "Okja" and "Snowpiercer."
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06:  Tilda Swinton attends "The Eternal Daughter" UK premiere during the 66th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 06, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI)
Tilda Swinton
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f

Tilda Swinton will not be a “Parasite” anytime soon.

The Academy Award winner confirmed she is no longer attached to lead the HBO series adaptation of Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” opposite Mark Ruffalo. “Succession” and “Winning Time” helmer Adam McKay is also behind the upcoming series.

“I don’t think I’ll be a part of it, but I’m very happy to be a cheerleader,” Swinton told Variety, after being linked to the project since February 2020.

Swinton collaborated with director Bong on “Okja” and “Snowpiercer,” and praised the Oscar history-making film “Parasite” as being “good for cinema from start to finish.” Distributed by Neon, “Parasite” was the first South Korean film to win Best Picture. The film is set to be adapted into a six-hour limited series for HBO, based on ideas Bong ended up scrapping from his two-hour feature film. While writing “Parasite,” he kept ideas aside on his iPad, and now his goal with the limited series is to craft essentially a six-hour movie.

Bong has likened the world of “Parasite” to Ingmar Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander” film and subsequent TV series.

McKay gave an update on the series in April 2021, saying during MTV’s “Happy Sad Confused” podcast that the show was “chugging full speed ahead” with an “incredible writers’ room” after outlining the arc of the series with Bong during the COVID-19 quarantine lockdown.

“It’s an original series,” McKay said. “It’s in the same universe as the feature, but it’s an original story that lives in that same world.”

Swinton recently starred in regular collaborator Joanna Hogg’s “The Eternal Daughter,” and now Wes Anderson’s star-studded “Asteroid City,” David Fincher’s “The Killer,” Golden Age musical “The End,” and Julio Torres’ directorial debut opposite Isabella Rossellini and RZA.

Bong is helming the adaptation of sci-fi novel “Mickey7” starring Robert Pattinson and Steven Yeun, and produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company. Ruffalo, who is also attached to the “Parasite” series, additionally stars alongside Toni Collette and Naomi Ackie. The upcoming feature marks Bong’s second deal with WarnerMedia in addition to the slated “Parasite” series which Bong and McKay are executive producing. Separately, Bong is currently writing and directing an untitled animated project.

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