Stephen Chow is developing a new take on the Monkey King legend, based on the Chinese fable Journey to the West, which he previously adapted in the popular A Chinese Odyssey Parts 1 and 2. Chow’s project is not to be confused with the other Monkey King movie in the works, starring Donnie Yen.
This time around, Stephen Chow is only co-writing and producing the film while Derek Kwok (Gallants) directs.
Shu Qi will play a swordswoman who was not featured in the prior films. The film itself will not be a sequel, just cover the same source material.
At a press conference yesterday, China Vision Media Group confirmed the film is slated for a Spring Festival release in 2013. They also announced that Stephen Chow has signed a 7-year contract with the company to direct five films. Meanwhile, Twitch Film has the first poster for the film, titled A Chinese Odyssey.
The first teaser trailer for the film – now titled Journey to the West - is online, courtesy of Mtime. Stephen Chow is listed as co-director, besides his previously announced roles of producer and writer. The second teaser trailer is online and offers a glimpse of actual footage from the movie. Some film sites have been criticizing the CGI effects, which may not bode well for Stephen Chow’s latest endeavor.
Updates: Stephen Chow and his cast, including actress Shu Qi and singer Show Luo, took part in a Hong Kong press conference to promote the film. Says Chow: “I thought about making a cameo in the film. However, I didn’t go through with it. Shu Qi encouraged me to act everyday on set. She tells me I’m good enough, I can do it.” Chow added that whether or not he acts again onscreen will depend on the particular project. Watch the new international teaser trailer.
Via the Hollywood Reporter, Stephen Chow’s Journey to the West has broken opening day box office records for a domestic film in China – beating the previous record held by Painted Skin 2. This essentially quells any fears that a Chow-directed film wouldn’t be a hit without Chow himself in front of the camera or that the star’s recent government appointment would hurt his movie career.
BREAKING NEWS: Martial Arts Movie Junkie offers a side-by-side comparison of a scene from Journey to the West and a cutscene from the recent Playstation 3/Xbox 360 video game Asura’s Wrath. Some viewers online are wondering if Stephen Chow (or his effects department) didn’t ‘borrow’ their memorable sequence from the game.