Cannes Debate Aside, the First Full Trailer for Netflix’s ‘Okja’ Looks Amazing
Across the Atlantic, Will Smith and Pedro Almodovar may be jousting over Netflix’s place in the Cannes Film Festival – should a movie produced by the streaming empire be worthy of competing for the French festival’s coveted awards? Or should the Palme D’or only be granted to films with exclusive releases on the big screen? Whatever opinion you hold, Bong Joon-ho’s latest entry, Okja, is set to make its world premiere on the Croisette, and big screen or small, it looks pretty awesome.
After a couple delightful teasers, Netflix has finally released the first full look at the Snowpiercer director’s newest movie. The trailer finds a young girl, Mija (An Seo Hyun), hanging out in the South Korean mountains with her best friend, a giant pig. But Okja isn’t just any pig, he’s a massive food experiment by a major corporation led by Tilda Swinton’s freakishly smiley CEO Lucy Mirando. Determined to get their greedy hands back on the creature, Lucy and her company kidnap Okja and Mija goes on a mission to rescue her friend. There’s also Jake Gyllenhaal in safari gear, Paul Dano donning a bell boy uniform, The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun, Lily Collins with a giant sniper rifle of some sort, and Giancarlo Esposito. The new trailer also arrived with a new, longer synopsis:
For 10 idyllic years, young Mija (An Seo Hyun) has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja - a massive animal and an even bigger friend - at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when a family-owned multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York, where image obsessed and self-promoting CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) has big plans for Mija’s dearest friend.
With no particular plan but single-minded in intent, Mija sets out on a rescue mission, but her already daunting journey quickly becomes more complicated when she crosses paths with disparate groups of capitalists, demonstrators and consumers, each battling to control the fate of Okja…while all Mija wants to do is bring her friend home.
Deftly blending genres, humor, poignancy and drama, Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host) begins with the gentlest of premises-the bond between man and animal-and ultimately creates a distinct and layered vision of the world that addresses the animal inside us all.
For one, Okja certainly looks visually mesmerizing, so when it comes to the Netflix/theatre debate, I’d say this looks like something you’d want to make a trip to your local multiplex for. Netflix announced the film will have a U.S. theatrical release the day after it debuts on the streaming platform on June 28. Keep your eyes peeled for the first reviews of the film as they flood in from Cannes. After all, this will be the last time Netflix has a shot at winning a coveted Cannes prize.