Bong Joon-ho, the mind behind Snowpiercer, Mother, Memories of Murder and The Host, will be returning this year with Okja, a film that has been cryptically synopsized as being about a girl named Mija (Ahn Seo-hyun) who wants to protect her titular best friend—a giant animal named “Okja”—from the paws of a powerful multinational corporation.
The first teaser for the film, which came out earlier today, doesn’t advance our understanding of the plot much, but it does offer at least one big reason to be excited about the movie, and her name is Tilda Swinton. With platinum blonde hair, a gleaming white dress, and the line “I took science … and nature … and I synthesized” (complete with elaborate hand gestures), Swinton presumably plays some bigwig within the villainous company, an actor-character mapping that sounds just about perfect. Her character, seen at one point being groomed by a couple assistants, evokes the sangfroid of the image-conscious Karen Crowder from Michael Clayton, while the blinding brightness of her wardrobe seems to belong to the same brand of gonzo eccentricity that characterized Mason from Snowpiercer. To reiterate: it all looks really awesome.
Swinton holds our attention through most of the teaser’s 40-plus seconds, but then a final-shot reveal gives us a glimpse of Okja. Though we only see the creature’s eyes and a bit of its hide, the design already suggests the kind of endearingly simple, mildly tacky aesthetic that helped make the The Host a giddy romp rather than a straight-faced monster movie. Of course, this isn’t to say that Okja won’t feature the penetrating pathos characteristic of Bong’s films; few contemporary directors know how to interweave comedy and tragedy quite as well as he does.
In addition to Swinton, Okja also stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Paul Dano, Giancarlo Esposito and The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun. Check out the full trailer above, and catch the film when it hits Netflix on June 28.