While spell-check may repeatedly insist otherwise, Netflix’s forthcoming film from Snowpiercer’s Bong Joon-ho will not be named “Okra.” Today, the monster movie—named Okja, by the way—released its first true trailer. This comes just a few weeks before the film’s proper theatrical release on June 28 and just mere days before its first showing at Cannes Film Festival later this week.
The film—written by Joon-ho and The Men Who Stare at Goat’s Jon Ronson—revolves around a friendship between a farmer girl—Ahn Seo-hyun’s Mija—and her genetically-engineered pet. The pet in question is a “super-pig” designed by the company Mirando as a miraculous savior for the fledgling livestock industry. The brief scenes we see of Mija and her chubby friend seem ripe for moments of sweetness setting up inevitable heart-wrenching sadness.
Tilda Swinton plays the owner of Mirando, in a role that feels eerily similar to her frightening turn in Snowpiercer just a few years ago. It seems clear Joon-ho wanted to work with her again to try and channel a bit of that same energy. For her introduction, Tilda asserts that these new livestock are big, beautiful, leave less of an environmental footprint—and most importantly—they taste “fucking good.”
Not everybody wants to eat these adorable pig/hippo hybrids, however, and Mija appears to team up with Paul Dano’s Jay, the leader of an animal-rights activist group. It appears these activists take their mission very seriously, as there are clips of them wielding rocket launchers and donning disguises in their effort to free Okja from Mirando’s evil clutches.
From these early impressions, the film looks to be a beautiful amalgam of alien-pet movies like E.T. and possibly even heist movies like a more-manic Ocean’s Eleven. The trailer, set to “Dedicated to the One I Love” by The Mamas & The Papas, hints at a movie full of warmth, humor and even some legitimately thrilling action. It’s exciting stuff and is already looking like another home run for a director well-accustomed to critical success. To be fair, any movie daring enough to pair over-sized pigs with rocket launchers has to be doing something right.
Okja also notably stars The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun (RIP) and every other movie’s Jake Gyllenhaal. Check out our coverage of Okja’s first teaser here and watch the new trailer above.