Bong Joon-ho‘s Parasite has quickly become one of the most acclaimed films of the 21st century.
It’s a twisty, thrilling film, but also an apt commentary on class, and tells its story and gets its point across pretty perfectly in two hours. Which makes it a huge surprise to learn that a Parasite limited series is in the works at HBO, with Bong attached to adapt the film alongside Adam McKay of all people.
Yes, Bong teaming up with the Anchorman and Step Brothers director sounds bizarre. But McKay has stretched his dramatic muscles in recent years, helming films such as The Big Short and Vice, and being an executive producer on Succession.
Right now it’s totally unclear whether this limited series will be a sequel to the existing film or an English-language remake. A sequel makes no sense – none of this really does – so an English-language remake stretched out into multiple episodes (as networks are wont to do right now) sounds more likely.
This is a bizarre announcement mostly because Parasite is very much a standalone movie that has already proven that it can, uh, stand alone. It’s been getting acclaim from all corners of the earth, so why does Bong feel the need to extend the story in some way?
It’s becoming a very real trend in Hollywood that any successful property cannot be left alone. Just earlier this week a sequel to Knives Out – one of the few original films to perform very well at the box office – was announced, in the hope of turning it into a franchise. It seems practically impossible for any sort of filmic success to remain as it was originally intended – a singular story – anymore.
Bong fans shouldn’t fret too much though. It’s not like this Parasite limited series is going to take time away from him making another film. He’s said himself that he’s currently working on two separate film ideas at the moment. Obviously his Parasite follow up will be heavily hyped, so his next movie can’t come soon enough.
The limited series is in the very earliest stages right now. HBO reportedly won a bidding war with Netflix to secure the rights. While Parasite‘s themes of capitalism and class are universal, it will still be interesting to see how the story is adapted and altered for American audiences.
We’ll wait for more news regarding the project. McKay is also working with HBO on two other shows. One is about Jeffrey Epstein – McKay is never one to shy away from controversy – and he’s also prepping a currently untitled series about the Los Angeles Lakers.