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Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite series is an original story, not a remake

The HBO show’s co-creator, Adam McKay, has provided more details on the project and working with Bong Joon-ho

Following the wild success of Parasite in 2019, and ahead of its history-making Oscars win, the film was swiftly picked up for a TV series adaptation at HBO. The upcoming limited series sees director Bong Joon-ho team up with Adam McKay (of Succession and The Big Short), and the latter recently gave an update on what we can expect.

Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast last week, McKay assured fans that the show is “chugging full speed ahead”, and won’t merely be a remake of the original film. “It’s an original series,” he says. “It’s in the same universe as the feature, but it’s an original story that lives in that same world.”

Bong has previously spoken about his vision for the series, suggesting how it will expand on the Parasite film. “All these key ideas accumulated from when I started writing the script,” he told The Wrap in January last year. “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.”

McKay explains that the project has been in the works throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and that he outlined the series with Bong during quarantine. “We’re just having the best time,” he says, on the current stage of production. “We’ve just staffed up with an incredible writers’ room.”

On the chance to work alongside the Okja director, he adds: “Occasionally in life, you get very lucky, and for me to get to work anywhere near director Bong’s orbit — usually, when I hear people say ‘I’m honoured’, it sounds like bullshit to me, but I’m legitimately honoured. And having a blast.”

McKay is also working on a star-studded black comedy for Netflix, titled Don’t Look Up. Revolving around two low-level astronomers attempting to warn the world about an approaching asteroid, the film’s cast is set to include Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Kid Cudi, and more.