Visionary Korean director Joon-ho Bong enlisted Hollywood stars like Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans, and Octavia Spencer to make his first stab at the English-language movie market with Snowpiercer. Despite universally rave reviews and an A-list cast, the film’s release was marred in controversy. It originally only received a release in only eight theaters, and after an internet petition, finally rolled out to a wider release to 150 theaters, which, still, isn’t a very large release at all. So, it’s likely a lot of people who saw it ended up watching it on Netflix.
So for Joon-ho’s follow up, it sort of makes sense he’s going directly to Netflix this time. And, he’ll still have Swinton as one of his main stars in tow.
The streaming service dropped the first teaser for Okja today, and it’s quite ominous. The main players: a primped and preened Tilda Swinton in a blonde wig, child actress Seo-Hyun Ahn, who plays a character named Mija, and the eye of a mysterious animal known of Okja. Though other Hollywood stars like Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Giancarlo Esposito, and Lily Collins are also part of the film’s cast, none actually appear in the teaser clip.
From just the trailer and the little that has been released about the plot, there’s not a lot of clues to figure out what exactly is going on here.
From the best we can tell, Swinton plays some sort of publicity-hungry businesswoman or scientist who created a mysterious hybrid animal, and that, somehow, that hybrid animal has escaped and befriended a little girl.
“It’s a very shy and introverted animal,” director Joon-ho told NME last year. “It’s a unique animal that we’ve not seen before.”
He also dropped the fact that Collins character, who doesn’t appear in the trailer, plays a member of an animal rights group that stages some sort of protest on Wall Street in Manhattan.
“On Wall Street, it’s the heart of capitalism,” Joon-ho said. “On the surface is a story about an animal, but it’s essentially a story about capitalism.”
The official synopsis gives a few more clues: “Following [Mija] across continents, the coming-of-age comedy drama sees Mija’s horizons expand in a way one never would want for one’s children, coming up against the harsh realities of genetically modified food experimentation, globalization, eco-terrorism, and humanity’s obsession with image, brand and self-promotion.”
So, Tilda Swinton, animal rights, capitalism, a cute little girl, “brands,” and a baby elephant-like eye belonging to a mysterious beast. Sounds intriguing.
Though, we won’t find out until the film premieres on Netflix on June 28th.
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