The Company Has Agreed to Help Fund Korean Auteur’s OKJA
Early last month, we profiled OKJA, an upcoming film from Korean movie autuer Bong Joon-ho. Details were scarce, outside from an impressive list of rumored cast, including SNOWPIERCER’s Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhall, and Paul Dano (all now confirmed, per The Hollywood Reporter).
Now, further details have unfolded about Bong’s next film, including a major production deal struck with Netflix, who will be putting $50 million into the OKJA’s production.
On November 10, it was widely reported that the streaming service will team up with Plan B Entertainment, Brad Pitt’s production company, to co-produce OKJA. With the announcement came further details on the acclaimed MEMORIES OF MURDER director’s new venture into the realm of horror. Per a Wrap article on the Netflix/Plan B deal, OKJA will follow “the unusual friendship between a young Korean girl and a monster named Okja who has a kind spirit.” Anyone getting PAN’S LABYRINTH vibes?
Following the tumultuous creative struggle surrounding the United States release of SNOWPIERCER a year ago, OKJA’s financial backing will hopefully allow for ample support in bringing Bong’s idiosyncratic vision to life, uncensored. In a statement regarding the deal with Netflix, the Korean movie director noted that
“For Okja, I needed a bigger budget than I had for Snowpiercer and also complete creative freedom. Netflix offered me the two conditions that are difficult to have in hand simultaneously.”
The production repertoires of Netflix and Plan B both speak to a commitment to the offbeat and unique. The former recently released the Cary Fukunaga-directed BEASTS OF NO NATION, a film on the decidedly un-Hollywood subject of an impoverished African war zone.
Brad Pitt’s company, meanwhile, has had a hand in producing some of America’s most acclaimed films of recent years. Such distinctive filmmaking voices as Ava DuVernay (SELMA) Terrence Malick (THE TREE OF LIFE), Steve McQueen (12 YEARS A SLAVE), and James Gray (the upcoming LOST CITY OF Z), have worked with Plan B on their films. It’s only fitting that Bong Joon-ho is now joining that club.