Bong Joon-Ho’s forthcoming sci-fi film Okja has assembled one hell of a cast. The film, which began principal photography just yesterday, stars Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and now Steven Yeun, best known for portraying Glenn Rhee on AMC’s juggernaut zombie drama The Walking Dead.
Okja is the latest effort from Joon-Ho, the acclaimed filmmaker who recently wrote and directed the stellar sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer. Joon-Ho’s new project is the story of a young girl named Mija (Seohyun An) who befriends Okja, a genetically engineered animal. When the creature grows to a massive size, his powerful corporate creators reclaim him, forcing a now-teenaged Mija to undertake a rescue mission. “With Okja I want to show the beauty that can exist between man and animal, and also the horror between them,” Joon-Ho said in a statement.
No details have been released about Yeun’s role in the film as of yet. The preternaturally talented Swinton, who also appeared in Snowpiercer, will play both the head of the evil corporation and her twin sister. Gyllenhaal’s character is a zoologist, while Dano’s is an animal activist who’s out to expose the corporation’s evil ways. Devon Bostick, Lily Collins, Byun Heebong, Shirley Henderson, Daniel Henshall, Yoon Je Moon and Choi Wooshik round out the cast.
Perhaps irrationally, we can’t help but wonder if this new role spells doom for Yeun’s The Walking Dead character, considering that Glenn’s fate, sealed definitively by Negan in the comics, was left hanging in the balance at the end of the show’s much-maligned season six finale. But regardless, we’re excited to witness Yeun’s long-overdue breakout into film, not to mention Joon-Ho’s next foray into English-language sci-fi.
Brad Pitt’s Plan B is producing Okja, which Netflix will release. The film will shoot in Joon-Ho’s home country of South Korea, Canada and the US, in both English and Korean.
Okja is expected to hit Netflix sometime in 2017—the film will also have a limited theatrical release in the US.