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Oscar-winning Bong Joon-ho’s films to be adapted into English TV series

Television series “Snowpiercer” (TNT)
Television series “Snowpiercer” (TNT)

“Parasite” continues to soar after winning four Oscars this week, including best picture.

Last month, it was revealed that US cable network HBO had secured the rights to adapt the genre-defying film into a television series, helmed by writer-director of the original film Bong Joon-ho and HBO’s “Succession” executive producer Adam McKay.

While no other details have been confirmed, Bong and HBO are reportedly in talks. Based on Bong’s previous interviews, the television adaptation of the tragicomedy thriller will likely be a six-hour expansion of the original film.

“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,” Bong had told the Hollywood Reporter.

An example could be the story behind the swollen face of Mun Gwang (played by Lee Jung-eun) when she arrives at Park’s doorstep on a rainy night.

“Something happened to her face. Even her husband asked about it, but she did not give an answer. I know why she had the bruises on her face. … I have all these hidden stories that I have stored,” Bong had told the Wrap during the film’s premiere event last month.

A social satire on the modern class divide, “Parasite” tells the story of two families in South Korea, one rich and one poor, with the poor family infiltrating the rich household.

Many streaming services and networks, including Netflix -- which had teamed up with Bong in 2017 in the production of his English-language movie “Okja” -- had been in a fierce battle to pursue the movie’s adaptation rights. 

Film "Snowpiercer" (CJ Entertainment)

“Parasite” will be the second Bong film to be remade for television outside of Korea.

The television adaptation of “Snowpiercer” will premiere May 31 on TNT, a US cable channel. The deal to adapt the 2013 sci-fi action film starring Tilda Swinton and Chris Evans into a television series was inked in November 2016.

The upcoming TV series stars Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs and Mickey Sumner.

By Choi Ji-won (