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Director Bong Joon Ho Receives $50 Million Investment From Netflix For 'Okja'

BY Adrienne Stanley | Nov 10, 2015 07:00 PM EST

Acclaimed director Bong Joon Ho received a hefty investment for his upcoming film, "Okja."

According to a report published by the Korean outlet, Yonhap News, the internationally recognized director and screenwriter received a $50 million USD investment from the American video-on-demand company, Netflix. 

"Okja" will be produced in conjunction with the U.S.-based company, Plan B Entertainment, a studio firm that was originally established by former spouses Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt.

"I needed a greater budget and freedom for 'Okja' than I did with 'Snowpiercer," said Bong, in a quote published by Yonhap. "Netflix provided me with both, which is an amazing opportunity to a director." 

"Okja" serves as the follow-up project to the 2013 dystopian action flick, "Snowpiercer."

"Snowpiercer" marked the English-language debut for Bong, but the film was plagued by release delays, particularly in the U.S. market. 

"Snowpiercer" premiered on July 2013 at Seoul's Times Square, through CJ Entertainment, but the movie did not reach American audiences until its U.S. release in June 2014. 

Actress Go Ah Sung, who is renown for her roles in Bong Joon Ho-directed films,  "The Host" and "Snowpiercer," was elusive when asked if she would be joining "Okja" or was interested in taking part in any English-language films, in the future. During the November 9 press conference at New York City's Korea Society, the "Office" star coyly hinted at her interest in the project. 

"If there are any opportunities to work in English-language, I would like to do that because I tend to get drawn towards new things," said Go.  "As for working with the same director [like Bong Joon Ho] more than once, my new film, "A Memory to Remember" is a similar situation [where I work with the same director]. As for 'Okja,' I think you should ask Director Bong."

However, Go went on to state that she would be traveling to Los Angeles to explore her next project. 

"Okja" is currently casting the female lead for the film, who would join Hollywood stars, Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal.

According to Yonhap, "Okja" will be split filming between Seoul and New York City, with scheduled release in 2017. 


Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor at KDramaStars. She is also a contributing music writer at KpopStarz, MTV Iggy and other publications. When she is not listening to "Rhythm Ta," she can be found on Twitter. (@retrogirladdy).

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