Parasite to be made into graphic novel using Bong Joon Ho's storyboards

Grand Central Publishing is collating the Korean director’s original sketches to form a 304-page book, celebrating his unusual process.

19 February 2020

By way of celebrating Bong Joon Ho’s distinctive approach to film creation, Grand Central Publishing (part of Hachette) is publishing a graphic novel using his storyboards for Parasite. Comprising hundreds of illustrations across 304 pages, the hardcover book explores how the Korean director storyboarded every shot of Parasite prior to filming every scene, and – by compiling them as a narrative – shows how extensive his process truly is.

A core facet of the film’s defining aesthetic is that it features a comparatively low amount of shots, with 960 individual shots compared with an average for feature films being around 1400. Other films with low shot counts include The Shining (571) and Annie Hall (355), both recognised for their lingering scenes.

The publisher says the book will be a brand new way to experience the Parasite story. “Accompanied by the film's dialog, the storyboards he drew capture the story in its entirety,” says a statement. The director has also written a foreword for the publication and provided early concept drawings and photos from the set, which Grand Central says “take the reader even deeper into the vision that gave rise to this stunning cinematic achievement”.

“Director Bong's illustrations share the same illuminating power of his writing and directing. The result is a gorgeous, riveting read and a fresh look at the vertiginous delights and surprises of Bong Joon Ho's deeply affecting, genre-defying story.”

A selection of the storyboards are shown in a video (below) shared by film editor Vashi Nedomansky, where he compares the original illustration with the final shot, commenting: “Bong Joon Ho storyboards the entire film himself before he rolls the camera. He does not shoot master shots or any coverage. He shoots just his storyboards.”

Last week, Parasite became the first ever non-English-language film to win the Oscar for Best Film at the 2020 Academy Awards. It also won Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film.

Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards will be available on 19 May 2020.

Also following the unusual (given that it’s usually the other way round) film-to-book trajectory is A24, the entertainment company behind Moonlight, Ex Machina and The Witch, which recently worked with graphic designers Actual Source to showcase how the films were made via beautiful tomes.

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Hachette / Grand Central Publishing / Bong Joon Ho: Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, overseeing the website’s daily editorial output.

Jenny is currently on maternity leave.

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