In the midst of Oscar and Hollywood adaptation buzz, Parasite director Bong Joon-ho is adamant that he won’t accept random scripts.
Parasite won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May, but still managed to be the talk of Telluride and TIFF in spite of fierce competition. Parasite screenings were some of the most attended and most raved about, leaving the family thriller with strong Oscar buzz ahead of its October theatrical release. The film is so beloved that talks of an English-language remake are already underway, though don’t expect Bong to handle it.
Speaking to IndieWire’s Anne Thompson at TIFF, Bong stressed that he remains somewhat resistant to taking on Hollywood studio offers. The only way Bong would join a major Hollywood studio is if he wrote the movie himself, citing Quentin Tarantino as a filmmaker he is modeling his career after.
“I received a lot of [Hollywood] offers after The Host in 2006,” Bong said. “Lots of science-fiction, horror, and action films. I was just like, ‘Wow, a Hollywood script!’ I didn’t accept any of them. My agent is a very nice guy and they already know that I like to direct my own scripts like Quentin Tarantino. Sometimes I do get a little disappointed that he doesn’t send me anything. He doesn’t send me any scripts now knowing that I always write my own.”
Bong has made English-language movies in the past with Snowpiercer and Okja, both of which were original scripts (though Snowpiercer was adapted from a French graphic novel) that were picked up for U.S. distribution by studios outside of the majors at the time. These are the kinds of movies Bong is interested in making at a major Hollywood studio, so pre-existing franchises and big budget, high expectation scripts won’t get a response.
Bong Joon-ho’s work on films like Parasite and Snowpiercer are testaments to his skill, and however he chooses to lead his career in the future, we wish him the best. Parasite opens in U.S. theaters beginning October 11th.