Korean filmmaker Bong Jun-ho's new monster movie project, Okja, just got gifted an immense infusion of cash from Netflix, to the tune of a cool $50 million. Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment has partnered with Netflix to deliver the necessary financing for the Snowpiercer director's next horror film, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Kelly Macdonald and Bill Nighy. One caveat insisted on in this mutually beneficial arrangement is total creative control for Jun-ho, whose public and private battles with the Weinsteins over the final cut of last year's Snowpiercer were enough to give the young filmmaker monster-sized ulcers.
Netflix has loaded up its creative plate with recent original content shows like Daredevil, Hemlock Grove, House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black and this month's Jessica Jones, and now they're venturing fearlessly into feature films with this serious investment. The streaming service plans to launch in South Korea in late 2016, and this partnership will certainly play heavily in their big marketing push once the time arrives.
Here are the director's comments on his new Netflix/Plan B alliance and the movie's mild-mannered creature:
“It really is a fantastic opportunity for me as a film maker,” said Bong. “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. Also, Plan B Entertainment has also produced bold and daring films. I expect the adventurousness of Plan B to blend with ‘Okja.'
Jun-ho's beast is not a traditional movie monster and has its roots in Asian folklore.
“It is a bulky animal, but with a mild and kind spirit. The film is about a warm friendship between a country girl and a brute with stories,” he said. “To me, the crazy world surrounding Okja and the girl looks more like a monster. I want to depict the two characters’ bizarre journey and adventure across the tough world in an original fashion.”
Okja is currently in preproduction and expects to start shooting in April of 2016 around various locations in Korea and the U.S., with a release date aimed for early 2017.
Were you on board Bong Jun-ho's Snowpiercer express, and are you excited he's fully funded for this intriguing new monster movie?
(Via Geek Tyrant)