Starry Entertainment Eyes American Talent For A HERO'S JOURNEY TO THE WEST, Big Names For APES

Lianrui Pictures
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.

Stay tuned for more info!

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