Bong Joon Ho Has Finished His First Post-'Parasite' Script

Laura Martin
·3-min read
Photo credit: Neon
Photo credit: Neon

Not only did Parasite turn out to be one of the best films of the decade, but was also strangely prescient of the new world we were about to inhabit. The vast majority of society, locked away with flatmates or family in tiny lodgings, worried where the next pay cheque was coming from, watching on as another section of society carried on in their mansions, unaware and untouched by the growing crisis around them.

The prophetic social commentary was just one of the reasons behind the great success of Korean director Bong Joon Ho’s four-time Oscar-winning film. Made for £10 million, it ended up grossing £137 million worldwide, finally shone a much-needed light on the Korean film industry and it also obviously sent Bong’s rising star stratospheric. Now fans will be hyped to hear that the director has finished writing one of two new movies.

One has already been written

Speaking on The Director’s Cut podcast, he revealed: “It feels like I’m splitting my brain in half left and right writing these two scripts. But I finished one last week.”

While he’s holding back on any specific plot or genre at the moment, he explained that one film would be in English, the other Korean: “The Korean film is located in Seoul and has unique elements of horror and action. 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 UK and half in the US”.

It’s likely the director - also behind Okja and Snowpiercer - will inevitably have a whip-sharp take on another societal issue with his new work. He previously described Parasite as “reflecting that absurdity of our current times. The foolishness of this era of polarisation”. Asked about the exploitative nature of the capitalist system, which seems to be a theme which runs through all of his films, he told The Guardian: “People have to maintain mutual respect towards each other. [Parasite] deals with a situation where that minimal amount of respect you should have towards another human being is completely destroyed and ignored.”

Photo credit: Amazon Prime
Photo credit: Amazon Prime

Parasite: the American adaptation

Meanwhile, as we wait for Bong’s future work - which is unlikely to hit cinema screens until at least 2022, there’s always the prospect of the American remake of his hit film. Last year – predictably – it was announced that Parasite would be turned into an HBO series set in America, with Succession writer Adam McKay at the helm, alongside Bong.

Bong told The Wrap that it would be a six-hour extended version of the film: "I had all these key ideas accumulated from when I started writing the script, 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."

Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian - Getty Images

The new director’s remake will also answer questions that were left vague in the original, due presumably to time constraints: “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. 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?”

Also, he added: “What relationship does she have with that architect to know of this bunker? So I have all these hidden stories that I have stored.” Despite early reservations, it sounds like reason enough for us to tune in.

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