Bong Joon-Ho’s Genre Oddity Bursts Free In Wonderful First Trailer For Okja


On the eve of its world premiere at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, Netflix has summoned the delicate, wonderfully peculiar first trailer for Okja, Bong Joon-ho’s genre oddity in which a young girl named Mija (newcomer Ahn Seo-hyun) befriends the titular gentle giant.

Free to roam in the lush forest without a care in the world, Mija forges a deep, unbreakable bond with Okja, which is essentially a friendly pig (hippo?) with a bad case of gigantism. In the eyes of Mirando Corporation – a powerful, multi-national company out to revolutionize the food industry – Okja is a revelation, a creature that will single-handedly upend Earth’s ecological system as we know it. But the company’s CEO, Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton), is fuelled by greed more than anything else, and up above you’ll get a sense of the power struggle between Mirando Corporation and Mija – not to mention her staunch allies and other animal rights activists – and it’s one that looks set to underpin a beautifully shot parable on animal abuse.

Rounding out the cast list for this one are Jake Gyllenhaal, The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, Choi Woo-shik, Shirley Henderson, Daniel Henshall, Paul Dano and Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul). Bong Joon-ho is the brains behind the story, and co-wrote the screenplay for Okja with writing partner Jon Ronson.

Okja is set to stage its world premiere at Cannes tomorrow, May 19th. We’ll be keeping track of Bong Joon-ho’s latest creative venture all the way up until its Netflix debut on June 28th, but can it stand alongside the director’s previous efforts (read: Snowpiercer?) critically, if not financially? Time will tell.

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