Bong Joon Ho Says 'Parasite' Series Will Explore Stories "That Happen in Between the Sequences in the Film"

The director, who landed six Oscar noms for his breakout Korean-language thriller, shares that the HBO limited series will be a "very high-quality, expanded film" and also talks about the highlight of awards season (it involves Martin Scorsese).

It's been a banner week for Parasite filmmaker Bong Joon Ho, who set a limited series adaptation of his film with HBO and Adam McKay and then landed six nominations for his breakout Korean-language thriller.

How did it feel to earn six nominations?

It's very gratifying, especially to be acknowledged for the craft of the film. We all thought that Song Kang-ho would be nominated for best supporting actor, so that was a little disappointing. He has been with the film throughout the entire process. I feel like he has always been with the film.

What's been a highlight of awards season for you?

There was a period where I got to see Martin Scorsese three times in the course of four days, and that is definitely not something that happens often in your life.

Many of the things you say at awards shows have been going viral online.

I'm not on any social media. I had no idea that I went viral. But I'm glad people are talking about it. I did realize, just from reading articles, that the young audience in the U.S. seemed to really embrace the film, and that's been great.

Why did you decide to turn Parasite into a series with HBO?

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. 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.

Interview edited for length and clarity. 

This story first appeared in the Jan. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.