The 51-year-old South Korean director isn’t resting on his laurels after his acclaimed film Parasite took top honors in four categories at the 2020 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film, to say nothing of Golden Globes, Palmes d’Or, and other prestigious prizes. Not to mention that Bong has also signed on as executive producer of a project to adapt Parasite as a TV series for HBO Max.
This week, Bong let on that his next project, already underway, is an animation starring both humans and deep-sea creatures. The script, which he’d been working on with 4th Creative Party for the past three years, was completed in January. But even before this oceanic spectacle splashes on screens worldwide, fans are likely to be enjoying another feature from this prolific director: an English-language film that Bong is working on at this moment. It’s widely believed the storyline will be a transatlantic one, set in both the USA and the UK.
And if that weren’t enough, Bong is producing, for Participant Media a drama about migrant workers titled Sea Fog, written and directed by Matt Palmer based on an earlier script by Oren Moverman. The film takes its cues from Haemoo, a 2014 Korean offering about a fishing boat crew smuggling undocumented workers from China into Korea. Bong wrote the Haemoo script with its director, Shim Sung Bo.
To top it all off, Bong is simultaneously serving as the president of the jury for next year’s prestigious Venice Film Festival. Though his name might not yet be a household word among filmgoers in the USA, Bong Joon-ho is wildly lionized in his native South Korea. He originally studied sociology at Yonsei University in Seoul before taking up moviemaking at the Korean Academy off Film Arts. Prominent in the South Korean democracy movement during his youth, Bong is today revered by students who admire his political activism. He is married to the screenwriter Jung Sun-young, and their son Hyo-min is also a filmmaker.