NEON has acquired the North American rights for Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, his first Korean-language film since 2009’s acclaimed Mother, per Deadline. The deal was unveiled Wednesday at the American Film Market, and was made between NEON and Korean distributor CJ Entertainment, which is handling international sales.
This deal reunites the leading Korean filmmaker with NEON co-founder Tom Quinn, who was head of distributor Radius when it released Bong’s film Snowpiercer in 2013. In the time since Bong’s last Korean-language outing, he also co-wrote and directed 2017’s oddball Okja for Netflix, which landed at #2 on Paste’s list of the streaming platform’s best original movies earlier this year.
Bong wrote and directed Parasite, which marks his fourth collaboration with star Song Kang-Ho. The film also stars Lee Sun-Kyun, Cho Yeo-Jeong, Park So-Dam, Chang Hyae-Jin and Okja’s Choi Woo-Shik.
Despite the creepy title, it seems that Parasite will be more of a family drama, “centering on two families who are worlds apart yet somewhat alike, portraying a striking reality of the world we live in.” Bong has mentioned that the film does not feature any parasites or alien creatures, as he said in May before production started, although that comment came with the intriguing development that the film was filming at the Goyang Aqua Studio, which specializes in underwater shooting. Bong is no stranger to genre-hopping, so fans should anticipate at least a few dramatic mood shifts.
Parasite recently wrapped production, and comes from producers Kwak Sin Ae and Jang Young Hwan for Barunson E&A Corp.
NEON is currently planning a 2019 U.S. release for Parasite.