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‘Okja’ Teaser Tells Us All We Need to Know In Advance About Bong Joon-ho’s Latest

By  · Published on March 1st, 2017

It sounds like ‘Free Willy’ on Korean steroids, and we are 100% on board with that.

Bong Joon-ho is one of a handful of directors whose films I don’t need to be convinced to watch. It’s a given that I’ll be mainlining his work through my eyeballs the very second it’s available. Memories of Murder remains every bit as perfect as its American counterpart, David Fincher’s Zodiac, and his other films – including The Host, Mother, and Snowpiercer – each offer their own brilliance.

His latest is titled Okja, and like Snowpiercer it’s (at least in part) in English and with recognizable Western stars, but unlike his earlier films there will be no corner of the world left waiting for its regional release. The film is debuting worldwide, June 28th, on Netflix.

And now the first teaser has dropped. Check it out below:

My preference will always be to avoid trailers in general for films from known talents, but barring that I think teasers are the way to go. This one offers just enough information – a Jurassic Park-like entrepreneur creates a new creature, a little girl befriends it, and the two are immediately at odds as to the animal’s fate and purpose.

The official synopsis, for those of you who need more, is right here:

“From visionary Director Bong Joon Ho, this grand global adventure follows a friendship too big to ignore. Meet Mija, a young girl who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal named Okja. Following her 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.”

It sounds like Free Willy on Korean steroids, and I’m 100% down with that. We only see a glimpse of Tilda Swinton in the teaser here, but we know the film also stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Giancarlo Esposito, and more familiar faces.

If there’s a risk here it’s that Bong may push the “message” of the film too hard at the risk of losing narrative, character, and entertainment value, but with a track record as strong as his I’d say it’s a pretty slim risk.

Okja premieres worldwide on Netflix on June 28th.

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.