Academy Award-winning screenwriter Adam McKay (Nice White Parents) has a major update on the progress of his limited series reinterpretation of Bong Joon-Ho’s (Memories of Murder) Oscar-winning South Korean crime caper Parasite, Collider reports. In a recent interview on the podcast Happy Sad Confused hosted by MTV News correspondent Josh Horowitz (On Location), McKay revealed that he has a complete script for the HBO series’ pilot and clarified why he felt that his show should not be considered a remake of the film’s original story.
We’re just having the best time… I basically outlined the series with Director Bong during the quarantine with him overseeing. It’s an original series in the same universe as the feature, but it’s an original story that lives in that same world, like ‘Tin Men’ to ‘Diner’… We finished the outline, I finished the first episode, and then we’ve just put together a writer’s room and it’s chugging full speed ahead. 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 and having a blast.
McKay alludes to Diner and Tin Men, two films by Academy Award winner Barry Levinson (Rain Man). Both movies belong to a four-film cycle commonly referred to as the director’s “Baltimore films,” according to Splice Today. While both films are connected by their geographical setting and certain motifs, such as gambling and auto accidents, Tin Men takes place a few years after the events of Diner and only one character from Diner re-appears in Tin Men, that being Bagel, played by Michael Tucker (L.A. Law). You can listen to McKay’s entire interview below:
Bong allegedly shares McKay’s stated goal of expanding the world of Parasite with a different but nevertheless related story. In a January 2020 interview, the Oscar-winning writer-director mentioned how he actually devised a variety of story threads as he was developing Parasite, many of which went unused in the feature film incarnation of the project. “I had all these key ideas accumulated from when I started writing the script. I just couldn’t include all those ideas in the two-hour running time of the film, so they’re all stored in my iPad… I have all these hidden stories that I have stored,” he reported, via The Wrap.
During their conversation, Horowitz brought up McKay’s upcoming series about the Showtime era of the Los Angeles Lakers. McKay explained how he sees the series as an opportunity to address larger issues surrounding culture, race and the media. “It’s just about that time… where, like, all of American culture just seemed to change. And in some ways, that’s through the Reagan revolution, but really, in a more major way… American culture really became African-American culture. I mean, they became one and the same. One could even argue world culture became African-American culture,” McKay suggested, via Happy Sad Confused.
McKay told Horowitz that he longs to get away from escapist entertainment and how his primary concern nowadays is developing work that addresses real sociopolitical issues: “It was a little depressing to be working on a project that [I] felt was disconnected from the world… It just felt… like a waste of time to be working on that,” via Happy Sad Confused.