Bong Joon-ho was supposed to take a break after his historic awards campaign for the Best Picture-winning Parasite. The South Korean filmmaker spoke about his exhaustion in the aftermath of Oscar season, and admitted that he had trouble getting back to work on his new scripts for his two follow-up films — one Korean-language, one English-language. But Bong revealed that he has already completed the script for his next film.
During a 90-minute conversation with Rian Johnson on The Director’s Cut podcast (via IndieWire), Bong confirmed that he had finished writing the script for one of his two Parasite follow-up films. The director had worked on both scripts simultaenously through 2020, telling Johnson:
“It feels like I’m splitting my brain in half left and right writing these two scripts. But I finished one last week.”
Bong had begun work on his follow-up projects as early as 2019, telling press backstage at the 2020 Oscars that he had already begun writing his two next projects before heading to Cannes, where Parasite became the first South Korean film to win the film festival’s prestigious Palme D’Or, kicking off a year-long campaign that would prevent the filmmaker from fully dedicating himself to his scripts. “I’m continuing to work on them, nothing has changed because of these awards,” Bong said at the time. “One is in Korean and one is in English.”
Bong did not confirm if his completed script is for the Korean or English film. The details of the two projects haven’t yet been confirmed, though Bong teased to Variety last year that each script is comparable to the scope of Parasite and his 2009 crime drama (and most underrated gem) Mother.
“The Korean film is located in Seoul and has unique elements of horror and action,” Bong said. “It’s difficult to define the genre of my films. The English project is a drama film based on a true event that happened in 2016. Of course I won’t know until I finish the script, but it has to be set half in the U.K. and half in the U.S.”
It’s honestly impressive that Bong was able to power through and complete a script after he admitted to fellow director Kelly Reichardt during a March 2020 The Atlantic conversation that he was “a shell of a human” in the aftermath of Parasite‘s exhausting awards campaign. Not to mention that in addition to these two follow-up features, Bong is developing a Parasite HBO TV series with Adam McKay, using some of the discarded ideas from his initial Parasite script. Hopefully the man can take a break before he gets to finishing his next script.
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