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Spielberg's Version of Journey to the West

It is said that the famous movie director, Steven Spielberg is setting on the preparation for a movie based on the Chinese classical fantasy novel, Journey to the West, and the playwright group of Dreamworks is starting to compose the scenarios. China News Service had an interview with Mr. Zhang Jinlai, the impersonator of the Monkey King, Sun Wukong in the famous TV series of the same name on June 5.

This is not the first Journey to the West produced outside China. In the recently released Japanese movie of the same name, the Monkey King becomes a "psychic super hero", which is really not acceptable. Mr. Zhang explained, "I don't mean that the movie version of the novel has to be produced by Chinese, but faithfulness to the original is the most important thing. The Hollywood way of production will add some new blood to the classic and this is good. In fact, the widely admired TV series of the classic are not perfect, because we did not have the advanced technology of today, and technology is one of the most attractive points of Hollywood. If we put the art of the east and the tech of the west together in a positive way, we 'll make another hit.

"The new movie must meet the following two requirements. First, it must be faithful to the original. The Japanese put Tangseng or the Tang Priest (Tangseng is a female in the Japanese movie!) and the Monkey King as a couple, and that is really terrible. I also remember that the Monkey King kisses Kwanin in an American movie. Nobody will buy this. The second is that the special effects should not overwhelm the great story. This is the Monkey King of China, not King Kong, after all. "

Mr. Zhang will take his questions and requirements to the US. The questions concern which parts of the novel should be selected and how to weave these parts together. He also insists on taking scenes in China, as the story is very Chinese, and Chinese culture can't be found anywhere else. India and Nepal should also be taken into consideration, as part of the story happens there.
(Chinanews.cn June 7, 2006)

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