Bong Joon ho’s Parasite was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of 2019, having already won the Palme d’Or, brought home numerous other prizes, and garnered speculation that it might be the rare foreign language film with a serious shot of taking home Best Picture come Oscars night. Bong’s tale of con artists, class consciousness, and large, metaphorical rocks has resonated with audiences around the planet—as the director himself would not so-coyly note, the problems it addresses don’t exactly stop at national borders. But there’s a barrier that not even its most ardent supporters would have imagined it crossing over: The one from film into TV.
And yet, that’s exactly what THR is reporting today, with news coming that HBO has emerged from a bidding war vs. Netflix for the potential to bring a Parasite limited TV series to its network. Although deals are still being put in place, Bong would reportedly team up on the project with Adam McKay, whose own efforts to cinematically damn the forces of capitalism have generally been far less subtle than his new collaborator’s.
As to the content of this hypothetical show: No one appears to have any damn clue. An English-language remake with new actors would be the safest move, probably; although Parasite situates many of its anxieties in a specifically Korean mindset, it’s not hard to see how you could adapt its tale of haves and have nots for a different national setting. A continuation of the original story, on the other hand, feels far more fraught. As much as we might enjoy Morse Code Lessons With Kim Ki-taek, Parasite feels like a story that’s been definitively told. The best approach might actually be something more like Fargo: A series that takes place in the same universe (both materially, and spiritually), as the original film, without ever touching on its actual events.
But honestly, who knows? This is a very weird idea, and we just have to put our faith in Bong to keep this new version true to the story he’s already told, and not torture ourselves with thoughts of Steve Carell playing the patriarch of either the Kim or Park families. (Honestly, we could see him doing both.)