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THE MONKEY KING 2 Now Filming; Cast/Character Details Available
From L to R: William Feng, Xiao Shen Yang, Gong Li, Him Law and Aaron Kwok
Late author Wu Cheng'en's 16th century novel, "Journey To The West", continually makes for great source material for those interested in seeing what great lengths they can take to accommodate possible film prospects. Terence Cheung knows this, having already seen major results with this year's long-awaited fantasy adaptation, The Monkey King with action star Donnie Yen back in January.
Now, as per earlier plans to expand on the film's success with the prospects of turning it into a franchise, principal photography is already underway in Wuxi, China for The Monkey King 2 from Filmko Entertainment. Actor Aaron Kwok who portrayed the Bull Demon King in the first film has inherited the title role in the new movie, which will be centered on Curse Of The Golden Flower leading lady, actress Gong Li's portrayal of The White Skeleton Demon. Actor William Feng is also starring as the holy monk, Tang Sanzang who begins his westward journey to retrieve the Buddhist scrolls. Playing his disciples are actor Xiao Shen Yang as the pig, Zhu Bajie, and actor Him Law as the sand monk, Sha Wujing, the latter who had a smaller role in the first film as young god, Muzha.
Co-producer Michael Wehrhahn, representing Global Star Productions for the first film's expected release next year, was on hand to share some gems publicly about the sequel last month while attending the Urban Action Showcase & Expo. "It’s going to be a little bit more developed..." he said in part. "...I’m estimating that we’ll probably have it wrapped up within the next two years." Indeed, as the production is currently slated for a five-month period as of late November with plans to release the film in time for the Lunar New Year celebration on February 8, 2016. Obviously it's still a bit of wait, although it is much shorter compared to its predecessor which took close to four years following Yen's attachment, although this should be more of a cakewalk by now with a teaser possibly arriving around late Fall, give or take a few weeks.
In the meantime, Global Star Productions is on track to deliver a North American version of The Monkey King by February next year while Cheung's recently completed effort with the upcoming Tony Jaa/Wu Jing headliner, SPL 2: A Time For Consequences is readying a 2015 release as well.
Stay tuned for more info. In the meantime, check out some behind-the-scenes photos of our cast undergoing hours of make-up, officially unveiled by Filmko in the gallery below, courtesy of MTime.
The past few years have been a vigorous tug-and-pull over just how long it would be before actor and martial artist Iko Uwais would see a more principal role than in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Landing a more definitive English speaking line in this year's thriller, Headshot, was just another layer on the waiting cake added until more time passed until now, with actor Frank Grillo front and center with the cast that outlines the first of possible prospects to come between two actors who've gotten their start in different markets.
I speak of prospects with a certain action crime saga remake in mind, but in the good name of staying on topic, let's bring things back into focus. For this, we now turn to the long-awaited first official teaser trailer for the new sci-fi thriller, Beyond Skyline from writer/producer/director Liam O'Donnell who served on the first film from directing duo Colin and Greg Strause back in 2010.
Those who haven't seen the first film yet have…
I think it's safe to say you know your movie sucks when you not only screw the rights holders whose name and content you base your unsanctioned film on, but when said rights holders join the chorus of critics panning your movie from literally every angle of the internet. That is the level of achievement you have reached if your name is George Nolfi and you've directed a film called Birth Of The Dragon, long hyped to be a hopefully legendary homage to Bruce Lee, the late founder of Jeet Kune Do and patriarch of American martial arts movie fandom.
My weekend was pretty huge for movies. My thoughts on Wolf Warrior 2 are up on my Instagram as well as posts about S.S. Rajamouli's Bahubali saga so feel free to skim those through and follow me as well as I also cross post news there. The news also includes the latest on what's what in the weekly Hit List and we begin with a new round of stunt and training reels from around the web. Anna Akimova gets things going this week with her latest reel followed by Jake Teel, D.L. MacDonald, Tyler Street, Jessica Stafford, Graham Hooper, Andy Whitmarsh, Samuel Horowitz, Monica Lopez, Noel Martinez, Casey Michaels, Bronson Cameron, Yessenia Cossio, Aaron D. Alexander, Antjuan Rhames, Donovan Law, Ai Ikeda, Justin Mane, Lukaz Leong and Cassie Lee Minnick, along with Benjamin J. Redic III and the crew at Ballistic Blade, multifaceted stuntmen and fight choreographers Fernando Jay Huerto and Geo Corvera, and Australia's own Asaya Yasushi with a newly launched team reel for Team Yas!