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‘Okja’ Nearly Ended Very Differently

This post contains spoilers for “Okja.” 

“Okja” is a thinly veiled fable indicting capitalistic greed. In the superb new Netflix movie about a gentle giant, the Mirando Corporation ― the central enterprise that manufactures “super-pigs” to be raised for 10 years and then killed for mass consumption ― can’t be stopped, not even by militant animal-rights fighters. 

It wasn’t always going to be that way. Bong Joon-ho, the visionary Korean filmmaker whose credits also include “Snowpiercer” and “The Host,” originally considered a more optimistic ending. 

In Bong’s first conceptualization of “Okja,” thousands of Animal Liberation Front members in North America banded together to “infiltrate” the New Jersey meat-processing plant where super-pigs are mere cattle to be prodded and liquidated. Together, the ALF would have “liberated every single super-pig,” Bong told HuffPost in a recent interview. 

Alas, in the end, Bong is too much of a realist ― a “pessimist,” even, in his own words. A wealthy corporation like Mirando, with its rapacious overlords and inhumane objectives, succumbing to a band of scrappy liberationists would be a bit too feel-good.


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