Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) will co-star opposite Jake Gyllenhall (Everest) in Okja. Kelly Macdonald (Anna Karenina) and Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer) round out the cast, with Paul Dano (Youth) rumored to join the project. Bill Nighy (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) was previously attached, but The Wrap reports he is no longer.
Writer-director Bong Joon-Ho (Snowpiercer) has described the film as centering on the friendship between a young Korean country girl and a monster, who is “a bulky animal with a mild and kind spirit” and “a brute with stories.” Joon-Ho told Variety, “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.” According to The Wrap, Collins will play “an anarchist named Red who’s the only female member of the higher-ranked ALF members.”
The film is co-produced by Netflix, Lewis Pictures, and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.
Collins played Snow White to Julia Roberts’ Queen in Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror. She will be seen next opposite Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) in Warren Beatty’s s untitled Howard Hughes movie. She will star opposite Matt Bomer (TV’s White Collar) in Amazon’s The Last Tycoon, based on F. Scott Fitgerald’s unfinished final novel. She has also just signed on to headline Marti Noxon’s dark comedy To the Bone.
Production on Okja is slated to begin next month with locations in both Korea and New York. A theatrical release is expected the first half of 2017.