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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.
Having had a stellar festival run throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S. with last year's Fantastic Fest premiere, director Shimomura Yuji's new film, Re:Born, has seen quite the journey to its praise. The same can amply be applied to the resurgence of its star, actor Sakaguchi Tak who, given personal career circumstances, essentially had to keep off radar and thankfully, that dry patch is now over and done.
How so? Well, despite intial speculations of Re:Born being his last film, it has instead been noticeably buzzed as his return and one that stands deservedly on ceremony. Together with WAVE innovator, close quarters fighting expert Inagawa Yoshitaka and host to a story sampling from the inspired dark, reclusive tales of real-life commandos, Sakaguchi stars as a small town clerk forced to adhere to his bloodlust once again following a string of military murders and the emergence of a squad of clandestined soldiers and assassins led by his former commanding officer now seeking…
Honorary Oscar winner Jackie Chan is in Shanghai stirring a ruckus for attendees and fellow stars at the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival. More news on this will rollout eventually and there will be plenty to sift over amid the buzz for Chan and his upcoming titles, and the same goes for the Fall release of the new thriller, The Foreigner, which is getting an October 13 release from STX.
The film takes its cues from Stephen Leather's novel, The Chinaman and is adapted for the screen by David Marconi with Casino Royale helmer Martin Campbell directing. Chan is joined by Pierce Brosnan, Liu Tao and Katie Leung for the story of a South London restaurant owner who reverts to the lethal skillset built in his dark past, paving his own way for vengeance after an IRA terrorist attack that kills his family and the justice system fails him.
The film has already made itself a share of festival appearances with a few gamey one-sheets but we now have an official first poster for its …
Acclaimed director and film multi-hyphenate Shaun Piccinino is set to direct American Fighter for ESX Entertainment. The film is a sequel to last year's American Wrestler: The Wizard which starred actor George Kosturos in the 1980-set tale of a young Iranian teen transplanted into a new town where he's forced to face adversity from all angles after joining the high school wrestling team.
Kosturos is returning to the sequel according to a new report from Variety which also lists Tommy Flanagan, Bryan Craig, Sean Patrick Flanery and Parviz Sayyad attached to star. Forrest Lucas, Ali Afshar, Christina Moore and Anna Zielinski are producing the film with a story by Afshar that now centers on a desperate teen who builds character between opponents upon competing in the underground fight circuit to save his dying mother. “Continuing down the line of a ‘Rocky’ meets ‘Karate Kid’ story, this new ‘American Wrestler’ movie remains a very heartfelt project for me,” Afshar said. “The res…