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Starry Entertainment Eyes American Talent For A HERO'S JOURNEY TO THE WEST, Big Names For APES
Of all the animated properties one might have expected to see arise in Hollywood, I suppose it was likely that author Wu Cheng'en's Journey To The West novel would still be an option. The longstanding folklore classic has been the bread and butter of many a film and TV show adaption for years with legendary hero, the Monkey King, front and center, and now the newly-established Starry Entertainment is looking to stake its claim with the goal of tapping both into Chinese and global markets.
As THR reports, Ultimate Spider-Man series scribe James Felder is being tapped to write an English-language take on the property with former Disney animator Chris Bradley (Mulan) and Marvel Studio character designer Walter Antonio McDaniel sharing the helm while confirmation of the film's voice cast remains pending for its Chinese New Year release in 2019. The concept comes from Starry Entertainment's own Jon Chiew who serves as acting COO and CEO of Starry's Hong Kong offices. Says Chiew: “The film will be an interpretation of the Journey to the West legend from a Westerner’s point of view, and the writer has found things we have missed,”.
Next to this is in Starry's ambitious slate of varied content is the $12 million dollar production of Asia Pacific Elimination Service (APES), described as an Asian-Expendables type of film about a group of retired action film heroes. Actors Tiger Chen (Man Of Tai Chi) and Tony Jaa (xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage) are being sought to join actor David Wu for the film, although with both tapped to join their ensemble cast in the weeks and months ahead for Jesse V. Johnson's Triple Threat and with Jaa set for a guest role in Yuen Woo-ping’s Max Zhang-led Ip Man 3 spin-off, Cheung Tin-Chi this July, it will take more reporting to see who else, if anyone is cast.
A Hero's Journey To The West is one of several projects in development signaling the continued resourcefulness of the folklore by studios and writers. Aside from Red Sea Media long gestating adaptation of The Monkey King's Daughter, announced back in 2015, actor Eddie Peng leads the current cast of the ambitious new fantasy epic from director Derek Kwok, The Tales Of Wukong this July with Soi Cheang's The Monkey King 3 production still underway for Filmko Entertainment. Tsui Hark's current sequel flick, Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back, produced by Stephen Chow who helmed the first film, became the highest grossing adaptation among other adaptations upon its China release in January.
Making a film of any kind takes some seriously hard work, especially one that pushes boundaries. I've never been in an editing booth, although I can imagine the tediousness that comes with putting together a project that can be physically and mentally demanding on its face. Throw in the bread and butter of special visual effects and although your time is your own, you're ultimately on a whole other battlefield. It's an emotion that's understandable for want of being a creative and to be able to share it with audiences. After all you've been through in life until now and investing a heavy portion of your time and energy on a project like Black Lightning: Tobias's Revenge, actor and filmmaker Choice Skinner is more than qualified on the matter after winning Best Fan Film at the Urban Action Showcase and Expo last November.
"The team and I were honored to have been selected and screened at such a prestigious event." says Skinner before giving praise to the…
Welp... it's been a less than ceremonious weekend for me. Being sick didn't help much for want of seeing Black Panther (guess who is avoiding Facebook to abstain from spoilers!), but it did give me a chance to do some important work for the site.
Ultimately, that includes introducing the week's entries for The Hit List now online and with none other than stuntwoman Tally Rodin getting our stunt playlist off to an explosive start. Following that are reels by Aidan Kennedy, Ronnie Shalvis, Nilo Ghajar-Williams, Thomas Lorber and a parkour jam sesh hosted by 3Run. Rounding it all out are Daniel Bodlák, Marco Falcone, Emily Tung, Jae Greene, Rebecca Ahn and Robin Calvo.
Making the trailer rounds this week we now have a look at an upcoming project over at the Lunar Stunts channel with Cabine Mortelle. Plot details are nil but the teaser itself is really all you need to figure it out as it somehow leads to some fantastic fight scenery among our cast listing Allen Quindiagan, Pa…
The days of video stores are long behind us, as are the days of distributors throwing literally EVERYTHING at the booming DVD market. In those halcyon days, independent distributors were lining up to partner with (see: take advantage of) indie filmmakers and help chains like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video fill the gaps in their shelves between big Hollywood releases. For those of us brave enough to wade through this swamp of content, the occasional diamonds felt like a gift from god.
For every 10 unmitigated disasters, there was a gem like Mean Guns or Extreme Heist to incentivize further exploration. Sadly those days are lost to time; a fading piece of nostalgia that older millennials will lament to future generations. But maybe those days aren't totally lost. The torch of obscure video store treasures may have been passed to an unlikely new champion... Amazon Prime!
From the beginning, Amazon Prime felt grittier than the other big dog of streaming, Netflix. It was a bit more …