In among the street parties, grateful sobbing and afterparty K-pop jams that greeted Parasite's triumphant night at the Oscars earlier this month, there was something slightly sad in the air. Yes, it had won. But thundering into view was the inevitably inferior English-language remake.
After all director Bong Joon Ho's championing of films behind "the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles," a cloddish Americanised remake would inevitably crush the light-handed, fleet-footed joy of his original Korean masterpiece. We certainly feared as much when the first reports came out about it.
But slowly we've learned more and more about it, and there's just an outside chance that it might all end up being quite good. So what do we know so far?
First things first: is Bong involved?
Don't worry, he is, as is his producing partner Choi Doo Ho. They'll be executive producing the Parasite limited series alongside Adam McKay, director of The Big Short, Vice and Anchorman and exec producer of Succession. "I really liked Adam McKay’s The Big Short and I loved his sense of humour, and the sharp satire he conveyed about the current American politics," Bong explained to Deadline.
Second things second: is a TV adaptation strictly necessary?
Apparently so, though don't think this is a straight conversion from cinema to TV – it's going be more like an "expanded film", according to Bong.
"With cinema, you're limited to a two-hour running time," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "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."
What kind of stories are we talking about here?
Bong has loads of stuff stored "on [his] iPad" and ready to roll, he says.
"For example when the original housekeeper Mun Gwang (Lee Jung Eun) comes back in the late-night, something happened to her face," he told TheWrap. "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? What relationship does she have with that architect to know of this bunker? So I have all these hidden stories that I have stored."
Where can I watch it?
HBO won a bidding war for it against Netflix, so it'll be over there.
Will it be in English?
That's the presumption, seeing as it's heading to HBO, but nothing's confirmed yet. The Hollywood Reporter says it'll be in English, at any rate.
Who's going to be in it?
Again there's nothing solid out there right now, but Mark Ruffalo is reportedly in the conversation for a part and would be up for it too. "I’d be honoured to be able to play something," he told TMZ.
How long will it be?
It's broadly rumoured to be six hours or so long, which it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume would mean six hour-long episodes or eight 45-minuters. Either way it'll be a limited series, not a rambling ongoing drama.
When's it out?
No idea yet. Hopefully it doesn't end up suffering the same tortured release wrangling as the TV adaptation of Bong's film Snowpiercer has done, but you never know.
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