The last time we checked in on HBO and Bong Joon Ho's series take on his Academy Award-winning film Parasite, it involved some casting rumors that appear to have turned out to be just that- and that was over a year ago. But executive producer and Academy Award winner Adam McKay (The Big Short) has some updates to offer that should make Bong fans very happy. With the series "chugging full speed ahead," McKay appeared on Josh Horowitz's Happy Sad Confused podcast to clarify that the series will not be an adaptation or remake. Think more "expanded universe" when it comes to the project. "It's an original series. It's in the same universe as the feature, but it's an original story that lives in that same world," McKay explained.
McKay also confirmed that the first episode's script was complete and that things were going well on the writing side. "We're just having the best time," McKay revealed. "We've just staffed up with an incredible writers' room. I basically outlined the series with director Bong during the quarantine, with him overseeing." For McKay, it's the experience of working with Bong that's bringing him some of the greatest excitement. "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 honored,' it sounds like bullshit to me, but I'm legitimately honored," McKay revealed. "And having a blast."
When the news was first announced, Bong explained why the film would work in a series format. "With cinema, you're limited to a two-hour running time. But 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," he said. "I really wanted to explore those ideas freely with a five- or six-hour film. You know, with Bergman's Fanny and Alexander, there's a theatrical version and there's a TV version. So with the TV series for Parasite, I think we'll be able to create a high-quality, expanded film." Bong expressed admiration for McKay's film The Big Short and his effective use of satire. when explaining why he was looking forward to partnering with him on the series. "With Parasite, while I was writing the script I had so many more ideas I couldn't convey into the two-hour running time of the film. I knew that if I had a longer running time, I would be able to tell these stories, and that's what I plan to talk about with Adam pretty soon."
The limited series is set to be produced by feature film studio CJ Entertainment, McKay's Hyperobject Industries, and Dooho Choi's Kate Street Picture Company. Bong and McKay will executive produce with Choi for Kate Street, Miky Lee, Cho Young Ki, and Francis Chung for CJ Entertainment and Kevin Messick for Hyperobject Industries. CJ Entertainment's Jerry Ko is co-executive producer and Fred Lee is a producer.