Movie Shoot to Feature Big Pig Procession on Broad Street

Starring in "Okja" (clockwise from top left) are Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and Lily Collins. Right: Location manager Joe Guest shows CB1's Financial District Committee a design concept for the movie's big event, a procession from Water Street to a stage at Exchange Place. The pig balloon will be computer generated. Photo at right by Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

May. 05, 2016

Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and a cast of hundreds including a giant pig balloon will be coming Downtown this summer for an epic procession on Broad Street. Although the pig is computer generated, the scene promises to be quite the spectacle. Set for filming on July 23, it will be part of an upcoming $50 million, Brad Pitt-produced movie for Netflix called “Okja.”

The scene calls for a crowd of 500 extras along a parade route from Water Street to a stage near the New York Stock Exchange, according to Joe Guest, the location manager. Three other shooting days on Broad Street, all on weekends, will take place within the secured area outside the Stock Exchange.

“We worked really hard with the city, looked at doing a whole bunch of stuff in Midtown trying to find an area that would work for this pretty large event,” Guest told Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee on Wednesday. “Broad Street,” he added, “had the appeal of being a controlled situation. We’re not impacting traffic and local residents by taking over a neighborhood street and having to move tons of residents' cars.”

The movie, directed and co-written by South Korean Bong Joon-ho and partially shot in Seoul, is billed as a monster flick in which Swinton plays twins, the CEO and CFO of a multinational corporation that sponsors an international competition among farmers to raise the best super pig. A little girl in Korea (Seohyun An) raises a giant pig named Okja, her best friend, that the corporation plans to bring to New York for a big promotional event on Broad Street. Gyllenhaal plays an animal rights activist and Dano an animal showman.

The girl “must risk everything” to prevent the corporation from kidnapping her pig, according to Netflix.

With ‘Okja’ I want to show the beauty that can exist between man and animal, and also the horror between them, director Bong said in a statement.

Guest told the committee that the production would have minimal impact on nearby residents and emphasized that “we expect to spend a bunch of money” Downtown for meals and lodging for cast and crew.

“It’s really important to us that we leave a positive impression with the neighborhood,” said Guest, who was also the location manager for “Money Monster,” filmed in the same area. “Sometimes it’s hard with a film shoot, but if a location is great we’ll want to go back there.”