From blockbuster to indies, 2017 is full of insanely exciting films. Everyone knows about the big comic book movies, huge sequels (Star Wars: Episode VIII, EEK), and other tentpole films that are being plastered on every magazine or website as they release their 2017 previews. While I no doubt agree with the anticipation revolving around those films, there are a number of unknowns that I’m looking forward to just as much, some more than others, and one of those is Okja.
Snowpiercer, another pretty unknown that you might have never heard of, was one of my personal favorites of 2014, ranking in at #4. It’s one of those films that I’m able to watch multiple times and be surprised at how fantastic it is every time. Now because I felt the way I did about that film, it got me very excited for what was next for director Bong Joon-ho. Enter Okja. Considered a “monster movie” by many, but actually a “bold, global adventure” that follows a young girl named Mija who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal named Okja.
Describing it as a “monster movie” is very loose, meaning it could be a wide range of anything. But according to Joon-ho himself, he would rather if people didn’t call it that because as he says it, the creature at the heart of the film is actually a “a very shy and introverted animal.”
Our first look at the film doesn’t give us any insight into what the animal looks like, as I expect we won’t know that for some time, at least until a fist trailer. In fact, the first look images reveal close to nothing, as they are just a few shots of the characters in the story. But what I can take away from this is that it’s just good to know that this film is still coming, and hopefully sooner rather than later. It currently doesn’t have a set release date, but is slotted for some time in 2017, which means it’ll debut at a film festival or two and hope for some kind of pick-up.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see what kind of interest this film has. While it was one of the best films of 2014, Snowpiercer didn’t receive nearly enough of the attention it deserved. But now that Joon-ho does have a film of that caliber under his belt, I expect to see Okja get much more buzz around it, especially with a cast like it has. With a director like Joon-ho and this kind of cast, hopefully it means Okja is poised to be a very different kind of monster movie.
What do you think about Okja? Does it sound interesting to you? Are you excited for a first trailer? Are you intrigued about the mystery surrounding it? Bong Joon-ho’s Okja is set to be released in 2017 and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Tilda Swinton, Giancarlo Esposito, Paul Dano, and Ahn Seo-hyun.