‘Snowpiercer’ Director Bong Joon-ho Offers a First Look at His Netflix Creature Feature ‘Okja’
2016 saw one of South Korea’s finest filmmakers resurface with a stone-cold masterpiece, as Oldboy and Stoker director Park Chan-wook demolished audiences at Cannes with his beguiling erotic drama The Handmaiden. In 2017, another one of South Korea’s proudest filmmaking sons will make a grand return, as Bong Joon-ho prepares to unveil his latest feature, Okja. A master of blackly humorous genre work (the guy never met a B-movie he couldn’t make into high art), Bong last appeared on American shores in 2014 with Snowpiercer, his first foray into English-language filmmaking. To employ a critical parlance, it ruled, and with the first photos from Okja now trickling out in advance of its debut next year, we have every reason to believe Bong’s latest will rule just as hard.
Producer/distributor Netflix has revealed a pair of new images along with a storyboard clipping in promotion of the upcoming film, along with some director’s statements from Bong that promise another odd and wondrous piece of work from the seasoned filmmaker. In the first, our heroine Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun) looks distressed, most likely because a large corporation is coming to kidnap her pal, a strange beast she names Okja. In the second, a frazzled-looking Lily Collins runs through New York’s Financial District, playing an animal rights activist opposed to the gross capitalist practices of Wall Street. (Like Snowpiercer, Bong states that Okja will have an overtly anti-capitalist ethic.) The storyboard corresponds to that scene, showing how Collins’ character Red runs through the crowded streets. An exact release date has yet to be set, and there’s no trailer to speak of, but in cinephile circles, this remains one of 2017’s most hotly anticipated features.