Bong Joon-ho Will Never Direct a Marvel Movie for This Hilarious Reason

The 'Parasite' director takes serious issue with... the costumes?
Chicago, US
Dick Thomas Johnson / WikiMedia Commons

There are many things to love about Bong Joon-ho's Parasite. It's simultaneously a searing take on class politics, an anxiety-inducing thriller, and a bracingly dark comedy. Thanks to the Korean writer and director's genius storytelling, the film effortlessly jumps between these moods and tonal shifts. It's currently the highest-grossing foreign-language film of the year in the United States, and it's on a sure path to becoming an awards season smash.


But one underrated part of this movie's welcome success has been Bong's hilarious press tour. One example: Last month, he told Vulture a story about lying to Harvey Weinstein to save a Snowpiercer scene from the editing room chopping block. But now, in a profile with Variety, Bong says what's perhaps the funniest quote in any magazine celebrity profile of 2019.

Because Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola's recent inflammatory comments on their distaste for Marvel movies caused such a stir, film journalists have been asking other well-respected directors what they think about the entertainment behemoth. So, in the profile, Bong naturally responds to a question of whether or not he would ever direct a Marvel movie. Here's how he replied:

I have a personal problem. I respect the creativity that goes into superhero films, but in real life and in movies, I can’t stand people wearing tight-fitting clothes. I’ll never wear something like that, and just seeing someone in tight clothes is mentally difficult. I don’t know where to look, and I feel suffocated. Most superheroes wear tight suits, so I can never direct one. I don’t think anyone will offer the project to me either. If there is a superhero who has a very boxy costume, maybe I can try.

Needless to say, this is probably not what the interviewer expected, which is why it's such a good quote. But Bong did address the conversation around Marvel criticism earlier in the interview. He said, "I have so much respect for Scorsese and Coppola, and I grew up studying their films. So I fully understand the context of their comments and I respect their opinion." He continues, "But on the other hand, if I look at the films individually, I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy, James Mangold’s Logan, and Winter Soldier by the Russo Brothers. There are great cinematic moments in those films."

The whole profile with Bong and indie studio Neon founder Tom Quinn is worth a read. They talk about their five-film partnership dating back to Bong's 2006 breakout The Host, the state of streaming, and much more. Read it here.