Earlier this month, we had the news that Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s next project, Okja, would have a June release on Netflix. Now the streaming service has announced that it will have a limited theatrical release.
Details are slim. What is known is that it will be released in South Korea with Next Entertainment World distributing the film. It will also be released in the US; however, there is no word yet on who will partner with Netflix or how expansive the release will be.
When Netflix invested $50 million into this international production, there was a positive reaction in many film circles. However, some did express the desire to see the film from Joon-Ho on the big screen. He has rightly earned a reputation for creating off-the-wall, imaginative, and challenging genre films. He tends to blend family-related themes with sociopolitical metaphors to create unique and quirky films. His previous projects include The Host and Snowpiercer, which has been ordered to a pilot at TNT.
The film stars Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhall, Lily Collins, Steven Yeun, and Paul Dano. It follows a girl who befriends a strange creature and fights to save it from a powerful, multinational company. Brad Pitt’s Plan B produces.
As excited as some are for the theatrical release of Okja, some do question what Netflix has to gain from this move. By having their projects only released on the streaming network, it has the potential to draw in more subscribers. Why would a subscriber want to pay again to see it in the theater? Perhaps Netflix is testing out the idea of using the box office to draw in more subscribers while picking up extra cash on the side while gaining some extra credibility in the theatrical release market for future projects.
Whatever their secret is, the important part is that the audience will be able to enjoy Okja on multiple platforms.