Robert Pattinson and Bong Joon-ho are making a sci-fi movie together

Here’s what we know about ‘Mickey7’, the ‘Parasite’ director’s first English language movie in five years.

by Douglas Greenwood
16 May 2022, 11:37am

High Life 

Film Twitter is in meltdown mode: Parasite director Bong Joon-ho and Twilight-slash-arthouse king Robert Pattinson are about to collaborate on their first movie together — and it’s an English language sci-fi with source material you can start digging into now: Mickey7.

Rumours have been swirling about how the director would follow up a film that essentially sent the entire movie world into a spiral, breaking a longstanding tradition in the industry. When Parasite won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, it became the first film not in the English language to do so. Director Bong thanked fellow nominee Martin Scorsese in his acceptance speech who, the following day, delivered a letter of congratulations to him. In it, Martin Scorsese said the following: "You've done well. Now rest. But don't rest for too long." Bong said that "[Scorsese] and other directors were waiting for my next movie".

Now it appears the wait is finally over. Here’s what we know about Bong Joon-ho’s next movie, Mickey7.

What is the plot of Mickey7?

Based on a book by Edward Ashton, Mickey7 is a dystopian sci-fi thriller set in space. The titular character (we’re assuming played by R-Patz), is known as an ‘expendable’: a disposable employee who is enlisted to partake in an exhibition to colonise an ice world known as Niflheim. He is known as Mickey7 because his six previous iterations have died on so-called suicide missions; each time, a new version of Mickey is manufactured with the original Mickey’s memories intact. But upon this mission to Niflheim, Mickey starts to reckon with why he’s the one chosen to partake in these voyages. When he goes missing, and Mickey8 reports for duty, a whole new host of problems for him come to the fore.

The book the movie is based on is fairly new — it was only released in February 2022. But it’s common for books, once picked up by publishers, to be shopped for screen deals too. If you’re interested in reading it, and seeing what the differences will be between the book and the movie, you can buy it here

Who is in the cast?

The first rumoured cast member to be attached to the film was Tilda Swinton — no surprise, considering director Bong and Tilda have collaborated on projects in the past like Snowpiercer and Okja. Last year, she announced in a Spanish interview that she was working with him on his new movie, but no official news confirms it.

Robert Pattinson’s presence, however, is officially confirmed by Variety, who announced the film back in January. Who he’ll play is still not public knowledge, but we imagine a man with his star wattage will play the titular role in Mickey7.

When and where will Mickey7 start shooting?

According to World of Reel, Mickey7 is expected to start shooting in London in August 2022, with filming ongoing until December of the same year.  

It’s thought that Warner Bros will be distributing and producing the film, which we assume means that the movie will shoot in the Hollywood studios’ London base, where Barbie and Wonka have both been shot recently. The fact that it's a sci-fi also means we’re less likely to get a sneaky peek at the set. It’s bound to be an indoors, green-screen venture.

What is Mickey7’s release date?

There is no confirmed release date for Mickey7 quite yet, though some ambitious film insiders are hoping the film could do a five month turnaround and be ready for Cannes Film Festival 2023. Director Bong has a strong relationship with the festival (it’s where many of his recent films have bowed), but that might be a stretch, considering the nature of the film and its special effects. That being said, it’s not unlikely to expect the film to materialise by the end of 2023, just in time for Bong Joon-ho to get yet another load of Oscar hype. 

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Robert Pattinson
Bong Joon Ho