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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.
Currently stemming from Florida's independent film scene is Victor Rios with his directorial debut, Fury Of The Dragon. Rios helms from the creative auspices of 333 Pictures and Frank Films, and cinematographer Armin Alic who co-helmed the 2015 indie action thriller, Room 236., and with a cast that brings actor Lilo Brancato and Wade Williams to the forefront of the tale of a mysterious vigilante on the streets of America and a detective who may or may not be out to stop him.
The film is currently in production with plans currently set for its own trilogy and it's early days at the moment. In the meantime, peep the teaser below and stay tuned for more info as it arises.
The season two premiere of the hit AMC Network series, Into The Badlands, was a homerun hit becoming the #1 returning show thusfar with 4.5 million viewers back in March. It's a milestone well-deserved after launching its six episode run back in 2015 from creators Al Gough and Miles Millar, and with ratings otherwise holding steady, much to the delight of fans, the show is officially poised for another round of epic drama and martial arts action. Per the announcement: Midway through its current second season, “Into the Badlands” is averaging 3.6 million viewers per episode, including 2.1 million adults 25-54 in Nielsen Live+3 ratings. In the current television season, the series ranks as the #4 scripted drama on cable and the #4 returning drama, behind “The Walking Dead,” “American Horror Story” and “Fear the Walking Dead.”“‘Into the Badlands’ looks like nothing else on television, a literal high-wire act attracting passionate and dedicated fans by the millions,” said Charlie Colli…
It's been a year and a half since we last heard on action star Jason Statham's prior attachment to a Hong Kong action film project. Given whatever may likely have changed or still may, gladly it still appears to be active by way of Road Pictures's newly announced production slate which lists a variety of titles in different genres slated for televised and theatrical production and release according to Screendaily.
That report now includes Straw, the title of said thriller currently being scripted by Kurt Wimmer which last had Statham written to play an ex-pat in Hong Kong joined by a female high-level Chinese operative to solve a kidnapping case with global implications. Statham and Chasman are still reportedly producing through their SJ banner with Road also involved.
Production was set for last Fall but should likely advance with the title still in circulation in the news. At any rate, fans still have plenty to look forward to with a forthcoming Fast And Furious spin-of…