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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2017: #6. Bong Joon-ho’s Okja


Director: Bong Joon-ho
Writer: Bong Joon-ho, Jon Ronson

Fans of South Korean auteur Bong Joon-Ho’s 2013 English language debut Snowpiercer will most likely be excited to learn he’s re-teaming with Tilda Swinton for another sci-fi endeavor, Okja, which is the name of a monster befriended by a young girl in a narrative split between New York City and South Korea. Though Snowpiercer received a rather harried theatrical release in 2014 thanks to The Weinstein Company, who wanted to cut the film, Joon-Ho prevailed and the film was a notable VOD moneymaker in the US. In November, Netflix announced it was financing the production for fifty million (Snowpiercer cost forty two million and was one of the most expensive Korean productions ever). With this coin and creative control, we’re looking forward to what Okja is going to look like.

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Lily Collins, Shirley Henderson, Giancarlo Esposito

Production Co./Producer(s): Netflix, Plan B, Lewis Pictures

U.S. Distributor: Netflix

Release Date: Joon-ho has yet to break into the Cannes main competition (Mother and the omnibus film Tokyo! premiered in Un Certain Regard), but we’re assuming Netflix will want to volley with some competition credibility either here or potentially Venice. The project has been in post-production since August of 2016, so we’re assuming Cannes 2017 is a possibility, in some form.

[related]Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2017[/related]

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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