AFM: Neon Nabs Bong Joon-ho’s 'Parasite' From CJ Entertainment

Bong Joon-Ho - Getty - H 2016
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The drama marks Bong's return to Korean-language cinema after his English-language success with 'Okja' and 'Snowpiercer.'

In the first big deal of this year's American Film Market, Neon has picked up North American rights to Parasite, the new film from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer, Ojka) from sales group CJ Entertainment.

The film, which marks Bong's highly anticipated return to Korean-language cinema, is the fifth collaboration between the director and Neon CEO Tom Quinn. As head of distributor Radius-TWC, Quinn released Bong's Snowpiercer, which became one of the highest-grossing multiplatform titles of all time.

Parasite, which Bong wrote, stars his frequent collaborator Song Kang-ho (Snowpiercer, The Host) in a particular tale of two families who, while being worlds apart, appear strikingly similar to the reality of the world we live in. Lee Sun-kyun (A Hard Day), Cho Yeo-jeong (Obsessed), Choi Woo-shik (Okja), Park So-dam (The Priests) and Chang Hyae-jin (Poetry) co-star in Parasite, which has just wrapped production.

Kwak Sin-ae and Jang Young-hwan from Barunson E&A Corp are producing, with CJ Entertainment handling distribution in Korea and international sales of the title at AFM.

“We’re very excited to partner with Tom Quinn and the team at Neon. It’s like reuniting a great team of old friends,” Bong said in a statement.

The deal for Parasite was negotiated by Neon and CJ Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers. Neon is planning a 2019 theatrical release.

Neon comes off a strong Toronto Film Festival, where it picked up Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux, starring Natalie Portman, and Tom Harper’s Wild Rose, starring Jessie Buckley. Neon also recently nabbed John Chester's documentary The Biggest Little Farm, which debuted at Telluride.

Tim Wardle's doc Three Identical Strangers is Neon's top-grossing film this year, earning more than $12 million.