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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.
The Champ Is Here!
This past week was cause for celebration amongst action fans. After an eight-year long wait, everyone's favorite Russian prison fighter has returned to the ring in Boyka: Undisputed. The reason for the long wait has been well documented (rampant piracy) and if fans don't support this film, we may never see Boyka again. To all the fans who supported this film by buying it on disc, you are awesome people and we appreciate you for fighting the good fight. But our work as fans doesn't end there, the war must be fought on a new front; we need to make this a hit on Netflix! A Genre Against the Ropes?
It's no secret that the career of Scott Adkins (and by extension, the entire DTV Action genre) has been undercut by internet piracy. It's lead to lower budgets, tighter schedules and has prevented the hard working filmmakers and action stars from gaining any ground in their careers. These are people making some of the best pure action movies in the A…
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.
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…