The Korean black comedy thriller Parasite is the toast of the season, with multiple awards and nominations at the recent BAFTAS, Golden Globes, and Academy Awards. Director Bong Joon-ho has tasted mainstream success outside of his native South Korea for the first time, and as happens with every new talented filmmaker, the esteemed auteur was asked if he would ever direct a Marvel movie, to which his reply was this.
"I don't think Marvel would ever want a director like me. I don't expect any offers from them anytime soon. Of their movies, I did enjoy the films by James Gunn and James Mangold's Logan, and I think there are great directors who can handle great projects like that. The film industry seems complicated, but I think it's quite simple for directors. It's just best to do what you're good at. And so I don't really think Marvel and I are suitable for each other. That's something I just intuitively feel."
A modest admission on Bong Joon-ho's part to say that Marvel would not be interested in an Oscar-nominated filmmaker such as himself. Marvel has actively been working on adding more diverse voices to the MCU, so the prospect of a Korean master director adding his unique sensibilities to the mix feels like a welcome one.
The statement seems to reflect Joon-ho's belief that Marvel movies are mainly focused on big-budget spectacle, a not-untrue sentiment, and his own lack of interest in directing such a movie. Parasite is not a film that boasts big action set pieces or loud theatrics, but instead relies on taut atmospheric tension and subtle moments to tell a story about a poor family that plots to dupe a wealthy family by posing as high-status individuals.
It is a far cry from a traditional MCU movie, and Bong Joon-ho further went on to affirm that he felt more comfortable staying in his own wheelhouse making films on a smaller, more intimate scale.
"I felt much more comfortable with the size of Parasite, where it's like you're making films under a microscope, you can take a very meticulous and focused approach, and I really felt that that's what suits me the best. That's the path that I want to dig deeper into. I don't think it's about modesty or even fear. I think it's about doing what suits me the best."
So for the time being, at least, it seems that the MCU will have to get along without Bong Joon-ho, while the filmmaker will have to make his peace with not having the Marvel tag attached to his filmography, and merely stay content collecting innumerable international awards for his latest feature.
Or better yet, who knows, we may very well see the two forces collide onscreen someday when Marvel hires Bong Joon-ho to direct a movie about a supervillain posing as an Avenger and duping other superheroes to uncover the location of the infinity stones, in the low-budget, psychological-drama style of Parasite. Maybe then Marvel will finally get a coveted best film Oscar for one of its features. Variety brings us this news.