Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja has proven a surprisingly controversial movie – not, presumably, due to its contents, but its origin. The Snowpiercer director’s latest is premiering, unsurprisingly, as a competition title at the Cannes Film Festival, but it comes via the auspices of Netflix Original Films. So its inclusion – and that of Netflix’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), from Noah Baumbach – has prompted roars of protest so loud, the festival changed its rules to exclude Netflix titles from future competition slates. Okja and Meyerowitz were kept in this year’s competition, but perhaps for naught; at the festival’s kick-off press conference, jury president Pedro Almodóvar announced, “I personally don’t perceive the Palme d’Or [should be] given to a film that is then not seen on the big screen.”
And jeez, all Bong Joon-Ho wanted to do was make his movie – which, by the looks of its newly released trailer, is bonkers. It seems firmly in the mold of his 2006 smash The Host, which also found a monster on the loose in a metropolitan setting, though with a bit more of the explicit anti-capitalist commentary of Snowpiercer. Throw in an A+ cast, startling effects, and Jake Gyllenhaal looking like this, and you’ve got one of the summer’s must-see movies, not matter what screen you’re watching it on.
Okja hits Netflix and select cities on June 28.