okja photos

Another movie from Bong Joon-ho? Where do we get in line? Technically, we won’t have to line up anywhere when Joon-ho’s new film debuts next summer on Netflix, but you get the idea. The prospect of another monster movie from the director of The Host is impossible to pass up, but the acclaimed filmmaker doesn’t label his latest work a “monster movie.” According to the co-writer/director, Okja is a much friendlier and probably a whole lot less bloodthirsty than the monster from The Host.

Below, check out some new Okja images and read Joon-ho’s comments on the film.

The story follows a South Korean girl, Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun), as she tries to stop a company from taking Okja — “a very shy and introverted animal,” according to Joon-ho — from her. Okja is Mija’s best friend, and probably in the eyes of most people, her friend is a monster, but that’s now the Snowpiercer and Mother director described the titular character.

We don’t get a look at the creature in any of these images from the film (courtesy of Entertainment Weekly), but you can see Lilly Collins, Seo-Hyun, and a great piece of concept art in the pics. The last piece of the concept art maybe includes a glimpse of Okja, though, but it’s unclear:

 

Collins’ character, Red, is an animal rights activistt. Joon-ho doesn’t reveal much about her character or too many plot details, but he discussed filming a scene in the Financial District  and what his movie is really about. Considering The Host is about far more than a mosnter running amok, it’s no surprise to hear Okja is also about more than a creature:

On Wall Street, it’s the heart of capitalism. On the surface is a story about an animal, but it’s essentially a story about capitalism.

Collins’ character plays a part in the climactic sequence in New York (storyboard above), where Mija and Okja go for unknown reasons. During their time in the big city, perhaps they’ll run into some of the characters played by Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Steven YeunPaul DanoGiancarlo EspositoShirley Henderson, and more. The film takes place in the United States and Korea.

Okja cost $50 million, making this Joon-ho’s biggest film to date. Brad Pitt‘s Plan B and Netflix gave the filmmaker the resources and creative freedom he needed to make Okja properly. The film is one of Netflix’s few Asian productions, in addition to the poorly received Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2 and the recently canceled drama Marco Polo.

Okja hits Netflix sometime next summer.

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