Parasite Director Bong Joon-Ho's Next Movie Is A Sci-Fi Flick Starring Robert Pattinson

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It seems Bong Joon-ho has found his followup to "Parasite." The acclaimed satirical drama-thriller took home four Oscars in 2020 (including wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature), catapulting the filmmaker into "household name" status for those who may not have paid much attention to him before. He's since been working away on the scripts for a pair of future projects, including one that would be a Korean-language film and the other English-language. That may include an animated movie Bong is developing about, reportedly, "an invertebrate deep-sea fish who believes he's suffering from spinal disk herniation." The source on that one is a little suspect, but that premise certainly lies within the realm of possibility for the director of "Snowpiercer" and "Okja."

According to Deadline, though, Bong is now in talks with Warner Bros. to write and direct a film based on Edward Ashton's upcoming sci-fi novel "Mickey7," with "Good Time" actor Robert Pattinson also in discussions to star. Should he sign on, this would be the first movie Pattinson has worked on since wrapping production on director Matt Reeves' "The Batman" and would come on the heels of him signing a first-look deal with Warner Bros. last May.

What Is Mickey7?

Here's the official plot summary for "Mickey7" included with its listing on Amazon:

Dying isn't any fun...but at least it's a living.

Mickey7 is an Expendable: a disposable employee on a human expedition sent to colonize the ice world Niflheim. Whenever there's a mission that's too dangerous―even suicidal―the crew turns to Mickey. After one iteration dies, a new body is regenerated with most of his memories intact. After six deaths, Mickey7 understands the terms of his deal...and why it was the only colonial position unfilled when he took it.

On a fairly routine scouting mission, Mickey7 goes missing and is presumed dead. By the time he returns to the colony base, surprisingly helped back by native life, Mickey7's fate has been sealed. There's a new clone, Mickey8, reporting for Expendable duties. The idea of duplicate Expendables is universally loathed, and if caught, they will likely be thrown into the recycler for protein.

Mickey7 must keep his double a secret from the rest of the colony. Meanwhile, life on Niflheim is getting worse. The atmosphere is unsuitable for humans, food is in short supply, and terraforming is going poorly. The native species are growing curious about their new neighbors, and that curiosity has Commander Marshall very afraid. Ultimately, the survival of both lifeforms will come down to Mickey7.

That is, if he can just keep from dying for good.

Bong was drawn to the story after Ashton gave him an early manuscript for the book last year, and it's not hard to see why. A sci-fi tale about a futuristic blue-collar worker who's treated as a (literally) disposable source of labor within a society that's actively falling apart at the seams hits all too close to home, and could easily fit into the filmmaker's larger body of work about classism and the failings of capitalism with whatever changes he deems fit to make for the big screen version. "Mickey7" also sounds like the sort of off-beat, director-driven, mid-budget or indie movie that Pattinson has spent most of the last ten years making (in-between the occasional auteur tentpole like "Tenet"), and one imagines he needed very little convincing to get onboard, knowing Bong would be calling the shots. Color me intrigued, too.

"Mickey7" the novel is scheduled to be published on February 15, 2022.

Update: A previous version of this article inferred that Bong's Oscar wins cemented his status as a fascinating filmmaker. In reality, he did not need an Academy Award to be acknowledged as one of the most interesting voices of his generation, so the text has been updated to remove the inference.