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Netflix has continued its expansion into original content, with the streaming service coughing up $50 million to finance Okja, the new film from South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho (The Host, Snowpiercer).
The Wrap reports that the monster movie “will focus on the unusual friendship between a young Korean girl and a monster named Okja who has a kind spirit.” Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Kelly Macdonald, Bill Nighy and Tilda Swinton are on board to star, while Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment is producing the film.
“It really is a fantastic opportunity for me as a filmmaker,” states the filmmaker. “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. Plan B Entertainment has also produced bold and daring films. I expect the adventurousness of Plan B to blend with Okja. »
- Gary Collinson
Netflix has made another big feature film acquisition, and this time, it is joining forces with one of Korea’s brightest filmmakers. Bong Joon-ho, whose post-apocalyptic thriller Snowpiercer emerged as a surprise hit last year, will direct Okja, a movie that will be produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment and financed by Netflix.
Okja, like Snowpiercer will feature a cast of both Korean and American actors. The protagonist will be a Korean girl who befriends a strange animal. Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Bill Nighy, Kelly Macdonald, and Tilda Swinton (who also showed up in Snowpiercer) are all slated to appear.
Netflix is making a sizable investment in Okja, which has a budget in the $50 million range. They are also giving Joon-ho creative freedom, which the director cited as one of the streaming video platform’s strongest selling points. “It really is a fantastic opportunity for me as a filmmaker, »
- Sam Gutelle
After carving on a cult gem with 2013’s icy thriller Snowpiercer, director Joon-Ho Bong has set a Korean monster movie as his next project, which has now been snatched up by Netflix and Brad Pitt’s Plan B banner.
Entitled Okja for now, it’s understood that both companies are poised to go all-in on Bong’s vision, investing, backing and co-producing the film as it incubates in the pre-production stage. That’s not to say that the concept is rooted to the drawing board, however, with Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Bill Nighy and Kelly MacDonald all on board to star.
For the filmmaker, that means a bigger budget to work with compared to Snowpiercer – made on a meagre $40 million, a shoestring allowance given its action credentials – while Bong also drew attention to creative freedom being a deciding factor in partnering with both Netflix and Plan B.
- Michael Briers
Netflix is movin' on up to the big leagues. Netflix has announced (via The Wrap) that they are partnering with Brad Pitt‘s production company, Plan B Entertainment, to develop the next film from Bong Joon-ho, the "creature feature" titled Okja. We've already been hearing about casting for Okja throughout this past year, and now it's moving forward with Netflix backing it up to the tune of $50 million. Part of the attraction is the cast - Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Kelly Macdonald and Bill Nighy, as well as Tilda Swinton; though the lead character is actually a young Korean girl who befriends a monster with "a kind spirit" named Okja. "It really is a fantastic opportunity for me as a filmmaker," 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 »
- Alex Billington
Right now, I'm about six episodes deep on "Master Of None," the new Netflix series from Aziz Ansari, and I'm dying to see both "Jessica Jones" and "With Bob and David" later this month. The original programming on Netflix has been getting better and better, and they seem serious about becoming a real alternative to broadcast networks and cable alike. I still have to catch up with "Beasts Of No Nation," the Idris Elba film they released last month. That film reportedly cost less than $10 million, and even so, seemed like a pretty major use of resources by the company. Today, though, there's word of an upcoming Netflix film that makes it sound like they're serious about movies in the same way they're serious about television shows. Bong Joon Ho, director of films like "The Host" and "Snowpiercer" is set to direct "Okja" for the online service. Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, »
- Drew McWeeny
Last year's "Snowpiercer" turned out to be a surprise of a film. Sure, it had a limited release, and brought it under $5 million domestically, but critically it's sitting pretty at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. On top of being an ambitious action film, it managed to bring many moral and societal questions into the mix, as any good scifi story would. While the domestic appeal of the film was definitely wanting, "Snowpiercer" still managed to bring in a decent $86.7 million in foreign sales, and considering the budget was a reported $42 million (South Korea's most expensive film to date), I'd say that's a success. Add in home sales and streaming, and one has to imagine the film was profitable.
Needless to say, the film's director, South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho, would be back in the game incredibly soon. His next project is titled "Okja," and according to THR, the film now has two important backers. »
- Joseph Medina
Brad Pitt and Netflix have agreed to back Bong Joon-ho's highly anticipated next film. Pitt's Plan B production company (which partnered with Netflix on his upcoming War Machine) will co-produce the film, while Netflix has invested in it. Okja, Joon-ho's first film since last year's VOD hit Snowpiercer, is described as a Korean monster movie about a young girl who befriends a creature called Okja and embarks on an "adventure across [their] tough world." Jake Gyllenhaal has been tapped to star alongside Paul Dano, Tilda Swinton, Kelly Macdonald, and Bill Nighy. Netflix, which plans to launch in South Korea sometime next year, will give the film a theatrical run in 2017. (There's no word yet on whether it'll also be available to stream on Netflix.) Joon-ho reportedly made his dystopian thriller on a $40 million budget, but explained in an announcement that he "needed a bigger budget than [he] had »
- Dee Lockett
Netflix and Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment are all aboard "Snowpiercer" director Bong Joon-ho's upcoming "Okja," starring Tilda Swinton—so deliciously eccentric in the Korean filmmaker's post-apocalyptic train tale—Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Bill Nighy, and Kelly Macdonald. The titular creature has a softer side, though, Variety reports. As in the director's last film, he says, it's "the crazy world surrounding [the characters that] looks more like a monster." Watch: "Tilda Swinton Talks Snowpiercer (Toh! Exclusive)" Having financed both the "Game of Thrones" imitator "Marco Polo" and the upcoming "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" sequel, Netflix continues to bring its substantial resources to bear in the Asian film market. Collider reports that Netflix is committing $50 million to the project, $8 million more than the budget for "Snowpiercer." Despite the price, it may well turn out to be a canny »
- Matt Brennan
Read More: Watch: Bong Joon-Ho Talks 'Snowpiercer' and Harvey Weinstein at Residency Celebration Earlier this year, Netflix announced it was joining forces with Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B, to produce the $60 million satire "War Dogs," and now it seams the massive deal was just the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the two companies. Both Netflix and Plan B have confirmed they are teaming up once again to back "Snowpiercer" director Bong Joon-ho's Korean monster movie, "Okja." Netflix is investing in the project, while Plan B will handle co-producing duties. "Okja" stars Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Bill Nighy and Kelly MacDonald. Plot details are being kept under wraps for the most part, though the director has described the monster as a "kind spirit" and has said the film is about "a warm friendship between a country girl and a brute with stories." "It really is a fantastic. »
- Zack Sharf
Big news for Korean film fans today as both Netflix and Plan B have confirmed their participation on Bong Joon-ho's Okja. The English-Korean monster feature has already lined up a very impressive cast, with Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Bill Nighy and Kelly MacDonald currently on board, while auditions are underway for their Korean cast mates. In a statement, Bong said 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." With his $40 million Snowpiercer, Bong already set a record for the most expensive Korean film of all time but it sounds like he will break his own benchmark with his...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Netflix and Brad Pitt‘s production company, Plan B Entertainment, are joining forces on the creature feature “Okja,” which hails from “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-ho, it was announced Monday. As TheWrap first reported last month, “Okja” will star Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Kelly Macdonald and Bill Nighy, as well as “Snowpiercer” actress Tilda Swinton. The film will focus on the unusual friendship between a young Korean girl and a monster named Okja who has a kind spirit. Also Read: Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano Eyed to Join Tilda Swinton in 'Snowpiercer' Director's Monster Movie (Exclusive) “Okja” is expected to »
- Jeff Sneider
After weeks of speculation, Netflix has finally confirmed it is financing Korean helmer Bong Joon-Ho’s $50 million Okja, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald. Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner’s Plan B co-produces what promises to be one of Netflix’s first, but far from last, Asian film investments as it seeks to expand its Svod business around the world. Bong Joon-Ho previously mixed Western and Korean talent in Snowpiercer. "It… »
The film is one of the first features in Asia to be backed by Netflix which is expected to launch in South Korea in 2016. Talking about the project, Bong tells Variety that the film has a monster named Okja but he's not that scary:
"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. 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."
Bong confirms that he has both complete creative freedom and a bigger budget than that »
- Garth Franklin
The film is one of the first feature movies in Asia to be backed by Netflix, which is in the process of rolling out services across the vast region. (It has previously financed the Weinstein Company-produced TV series “Marco Polo” which was shot in Malaysia and is backing “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2”.) Netflix is expected to launch in South Korea in 2016.
“It really is a fantastic opportunity for me as a film maker,” said Bong in a statement. »
- Sonia Kil
Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.
Rolling Stone‘s David Ehrlich on how the multiverse era killed James Bond:
The Big Bang of the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper, 2008’s Iron Man ushered in an age when even the biggest studio blockbuster could function like an episode of a network TV show, as concerned with advertising the next edition as they were with establishing a solid conflict for the one in progress. Creating a perpetual tempest of hype (complete with casting rumors, credit stingers, and the power to elevate geek rhetoric like “Phase 1″ into the »
- TFS Staff
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New Video on Demand, Rental Streaming, and Digital Only
It's time to join the flock! The geniuses behind "Wallace & Gromit" and "Chicken Run" are back with the warm, funny "Shaun the Sheep" movie, which is out on Digital HD November 10 and Blu-ray/DVD on November 24. Shaun's adventure in the big city was adored by critics, who gave it a 99 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Digital, Blu-ray and DVD releases all come with multiple special features, including a "Making the Shaun Movie" featurette, "Meet the Characters," "Join Shaun Behind the Scenes," "Meet the Crew," and a parody poster gallery.
Here's an exclusive clip behind-the-scenes, showing how they made the models:
- Gina Carbone
Flatliners: Ellen Page is in talks to star in a new version of Flatliners. The 1990 original starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, and Kevin Bacon as medical students who engage in dangerous experiments as they attempt to learn about the afterlife. Niels Arden Oplev (the original Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) will direct. [Variety] Okja: Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano (who appeared together in Prisoners, above), as well as Kelly Macdonald and Bill Nighy are in various stages of discussion to join Tilda Swinton in Okja, described as a "multilingual monster movie" from Korean director Boon Joon-ho. The director's credits include action-thriller Snowpiercer as well as the monster movie The Host; the new project will reportedly...
- Peter Martin
Details on are scarce at the moment, but the new film is called Okja, a “multilingual monster movie” that will feature “a Korean female lead and a host of English-language supporting actors whose scenes will be set in New York.”
Along with Gyllenhaal, the film has already secured the services of Oscar Winner Tilda Swinton (A Bigger Splash), who worked with Joon-ho on Snowpiercer. In addition, Paul Dano (Love & Mercy), Bill Nighy (About Time) and Kelly MacDonald (Anna Karenina) are in talks to join the eclectic castlist.
Joon-ho enjoyed huge international success with Snowpiercer, which has grossed over $82million worldwide despite still not being released in some territories, such as the UK. Chris Evans, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Kang-ho Song, »
- Scott J. Davis
Returning to the creature feature well after 2006's The Host, ace Korean director Bong Joon-ho's next film Okja (no English title as of yet) is gearing up for production early next year and a cast of big names is starting the circle the project. Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Kelly Macdonald and Bill Nighy are all in discussions to join the already confirmed Tilda Swinton, who partnered to great acclaim with the filmmaker on his last film Snowpiercer.Lewis Pictures, which brought us Haemoo, is handling production and the film will be shot both in Korea and New York, in Korean and in English. No names have been floated yet for the lead character, a young Korean girl from the countryside.Following modern foreign classics such as Memories...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho pulled together an all-star lineup for his first English-language film, Snowpiercer, and got some of the most memorable performances of the year out of them. No surprise, then, that heavyweight talents are eagerly lining up to join his new film Okja. Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Kelly Macdonald, and Bill Nighy are looking […]
- Angie Han
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