Bong Joon Ho’s ‘Okja’ Starts Filming with Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal

     April 22, 2016


Even now I still can’t get over Snowpiercer, a refreshing piece of sci-fi from South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho that debuted in 2013 with incredible performances. Three years later, Ho has begun filming on his next effort, a film titled Okja that reunites him with the transformative Tilda Swinton.

Based on the details offered by the press release, the project has a very Princess Mononoke vibe to it, but placed in a more modern setting. Described as “a bold, global adventure,” Okja centers on the character Mija, “a young girl who must risk everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend — a massive animal named ‘Okja.’” Bong said in an accompanying statement, “I want to show the beauty that can exist between man and animal, and also the horror between them.”

bong-joon-ho-okjaSeohyun An will portray Mija opposite Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Devon Bostick (The 100), Byun Heebong (The Host), Shirley Henderson (Anna Karenina), Daniel Henshall (The Babadook), Yoon Je Moon (Mother), and Choi Wooshik (Set Me Free). The film is co-written by Bong and Frank’s Jon Ronson, and is scheduled to shoot in South Korea, Canada, and the U.S.

As part of Netflix’s push for more original content, Okja will debut on the streaming service some time in 2017 alongside a limited theatrical release. Subscribers might’ve noticed the increasing lack of movie options available to them on the platform, and that’s because Netflix is diverting more of its funds towards developing and acquiring films, like Okja, and original series. They reportedly spent upwards of $6 billion this year alone. So, while we mourn the loss of some of our preferred titles, we should also celebrate if it means more interesting projects like Okja are coming our way.

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