John Woo launches animated series online

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Filmmaker John Woo and a poster of the graphic novel "Seven Brothers" [File Photo: CFP/]

World-renowned Chinese filmmaker John Woo has released an Internet-based animated series that is adapted from the graphic novel "Seven Brothers" that he co-created.

The first four episodes of the 13-episode series are now available on Machinima, an online video entertainment network which registers more than one billion views per month via its YouTube channel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

New episodes of "Seven Brothers" will be distributed every two weeks.

Woo created the original graphic novel with comics writer Garth Ennis and artist Jeevan J. Kang. The story is set 600 years ago, showing how mighty Chinese treasure fleets set sail to reach every continent and how these voyages of discovery left behind an evil legacy as well as a plot by a powerful sorcerer to dominate the world. Now, in modern-day Los Angeles, an ancient prophecy must be fulfilled and seven men, with nothing in common but their destinies, must save the world.

"For me, working in comics is quite comfortable - it's like the ultimate storyboard," Woo was quoted by The Hollywood Reporter as saying. "The original 'Seven Brothers' graphic novel, and this new animated series, take the seed of an idea I had about famous Chinese folklore to a whole new level."

Woo collaborated with Liquid Comics and Tiger Hill Entertainment in launching the Web series.

The director is best-known by Western audiences for films he made during his years in Hollywood such as "Mission: Impossible 2" and "Face/Off".

His upcoming feature film will be a romantic story set in 1940s China, set to star Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and South Korean actress Song Hye-kyo.

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