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Parasite’s new host: HBO to adapt this year’s Best Picture

Written by TV

In January, it was announced that the Oscar winner for Best Picture, Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-Ho, was going to be turned into a six part series. Here’s what we know so far:

Parasite was released in the UK on 7 February 2020, after originally being released in Cannes in May 2019. It follows the impoverished Kim family as they gradually infiltrate the wealthy Park family, posing as more skilled versions of themselves. The film was a universal success, being nominated for the most Academy Awards ever and being the first non-English speaking film to win Best Picture. Then in February, talks started about producing a TV series based on the film.

After a competitive bidding war against Netflix, HBO secured the rights to produce the series. Adam Mckay (Succession) is working with Bong to produce the series. Despite Parasite being nominated for six Oscars, Bong still felt he had more to tell than the two hour limit would allow him. However, the series has been capped at six episodes, thankfully meaning that Parasite won’t outstay its global welcome and be in danger of ruining the film. Bong said he wants to focus on what happens in between scenes of the movie, and delve into characters even more. I’m personally looking forward to seeing more of Kim Ki-Jung’s thoughts and emotions, especially towards the end of the film.

The need to cater to a western audience is understandable when looking from a business perspective, but Parasite has been praised for its critique of colonisation and westernisation

It has been rumoured as of late that Mark Ruffalo is speculated to play Kim Ki-Taek, the father of the poor Kim household. Furthermore, Tilda Swinton, who has worked with Bong previously on Snowpiercer and Okja will potentially play Park Chung-Sook, Kim’s wife. These are just rumours, but the idea that white actors could replace original Korean ones leaves a strange taste in my mouth. The need to cater to a western audience is understandable when looking from a business perspective, but Parasite has been praised for its critique of colonisation and westernisation, as well as doing things for profit. Looking at this optimistically, could this be a further commentary by Bong? According to uncited sources, Bong wanted Ruffalo specifically to act in the series. However, we do not even know which character Bong had in mind for Ruffalo, let alone whether he is even in the series.

Bong Joon Ho poses with his Oscar. Credit: IMDb, MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

As of now, the series has no release date. Meanwhile, if you want to get a taste for how Bong’s films translate onto the small screen, a television adaptation of Snowpiercer (2013) is set for release on May 31st 2020 on TNT.

Last modified: 23rd February 2020

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