One of our most-anticipated films of 2017 is Okja, the new film from Snowpiercer filmmaker Bong Joon-ho. Written by Joon-ho and Jon Ronson (Frank), the film is described as a “bold, global adventure” that follows a young girl, Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun) working to prevent a multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend—a massive animal named Okja.
However, Joon-ho tells EW that he would prefer it if people didn’t refer to Okja as a “monster movie” since he says the titular creature is “a very shy and introverted animal. It’s a unique animal that we’ve not seen before.”
In this new look at the movie, we see a storyboard of the climatic sequence where Lily Collins’ character, Red, races onto the streets of Manhattan. Joon-ho also tells EW,
“Red is part of a group of animal rights activists that figure into the story,” teases Joon-ho, who filmed in the Financial District. “On Wall Street, it’s the heart of capitalism,” the director notes. “On the surface is a story about an animal, but it’s essentially a story about capitalism.”
It will be interesting to see how Joon-ho tackles his subtext since he handled class disparity so well in Snowpiercer.
I’m also curious to see how much attention this receives. On the one hand, going through Netflix will likely give Joon-ho a lot of creative freedom (as opposed to the very public feud he had with The Weinstein Company over re-editing Snowpiercer), but Netflix has yet to have a crossover hit that performed well theatrically as well as made a splash on their streaming service. With a cast that also includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Giancarlo Esposito, and Paul Dano, Netflix could definitely have a hit on their hands.
Check out the images below. Okja will be released on Netflix, which also produced the film, this summer.