New Monkey King movie in the works

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 14, 2015
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Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue will star alongside Taiwan actor Eddie Peng in a new Monkey King movie "Wukong Biography." []

Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue announced on his microblog on Sunday that he would will star alongside Taiwan actor Eddie Peng in a new Monkey King movie.

The new film, "Wukong Biography," will be a motion picture adaption of a very popular Internet novel of the same title, written by Zeng Yu, under the pseudonym Jin Hezai.

"Wukong Biography" is an alternative narrative of the stories of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King from the old Chinese classic "Journey to the West. " It retells the events of Sun Wukong's life in a wilder and more imaginative way with a post-modern style. Some characters in the book and film are from the original "Journey to the West," but some are newly created or inspired by Stephen Chow's cult comedy "A Chinese Odyssey." The story is about a hero and his pride, love and redemption. The book became an instant hit and cultural phenomenon, selling 2 million copies since 2000 and earning the title of the "no.1 Internet novel."

The book has already been adapted for the stage, but cartoon and film adaptations have yet to be produced. The new film will be directed by Derek Kwok, who co-directed Stephen Chow's "Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons" in 2013.

Production of "Wukong Biography" will start in October. The studio New Classics Media will produce the film. The brief plot introduction released online states that the story will focus on the brotherhood between the Monkey King and Erlang God, also known as Yang Jian.

Kwok said the world created in "Wukong Biography" is very different from the world of the original "Journey to the West," and is more suited to young audiences' tastes.

"Journey to the West" has been a popular source for movie adaptations in recent years, due to the huge success of Stephen Chow's "Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons" and Cheang Pou-Soi's "The Monkey King," both of which grossed more than 1 billion yuan (US$161.1 million) and are among the highest- grossing films ever in China.

There are already five or six Monkey King-related movies currently being made by different directors and star-studded casts, and it is unclear whether the market will grow tired of the Monkey King legends. An animated feature film, "Monkey King: Hero is Back," is currently showing in theaters and has once again ignited passionate and enthusiastic responses from audiences.

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