Although movie theater owners found themselves less than thrilled when Netflix decided to dive into movie production with Beasts of No Nation, the company shows no signs of backing down.
Now, the company announced that it will invest in a Korean monster movie from Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-ho. Co-producing with Netflix is Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment.
The movie, Okja, is about a friendship between a little girl and a monster. However, although Snowpiercer was weird and sometimes a little frightening, the monster in Okja is friendly.
"It is a bulky animal, but with a mild and kind spirit," said Bong to Variety. "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 stated that this film required a larger budget than Snowpiercer, so that his new relationship with Netflix and Plan B helps him create the film he wants to make. He also feels that both companies reflect the "bold and daring" nature that his films offer.
"It really is a fantastic opportunity for me as a filmmaker," said Bong in a statement. "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,"
Okja's cast is as star-studded as Snowpiercer's and includes Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Bill Nighy and Kelly MacDonald.
Although Okja is the first Asian feature film backed by Netflix, the company has worked in Asia on its original series Marco Polo. The company also plans on financing the sequel to the hit 2000 martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. This all comes on the heels of reports that Netflix will launch in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan sometime next year.
Currently under preproduction, Okja should release in theaters in 2017. Netflix's most recent theatrical release also saw a same-day release on the streaming site, but the subscription service hasn't yet revealed details to do the same with Okja. If so, it's likely Netflix will continue to raise the ire of theater owners, who feel that such a release cuts into their profits.