Neil Gaiman to Pen Film Adaptation of “Journey to the West”
With the exception of a few directors, Chinese cinema’s global reach has struggled. Perhaps this piece of news is a good sign: geek favorite Neil Gaiman, the novelist responsible for Stardust and American Gods, will be penning the film adaptation of Journey to the West, a planned $300 million trilogy based on an ancient Chinese folk tale. What’s more, Avatar director James Cameron will serve as advisor to the script and the movie’s 3D technology!
The project is the brainchild of producer Zhang Jizhong, who has also teased the possibility of Guillermo del Toro coming on board to direct. ”[Guillermo del Toro] has shown a lot of interest but he wants to see the treatment first,” Zhang said at a press conference in Beijing. “Obviously the more celebrated the director, the busier they are.”
Journey to the West is a wildly popular story among Chinese people and its cultural influence has been strong (see: Dragonball). The story focuses on the magical adventures which befall monk Xuanzang, his mischievous immortal escort Sun Wukong (the Monkey King), and their two other companions during their mission to retrieve the Buddha’s scrolls in India.
Though I’m excited about the implications this project has for building stronger global cinema, it’s sad to think that homegrown talents haven’t been able to reach foreign audiences in the way that Hollywood talents like Gaiman, Cameron, and del Toro will be able to. Still, the potential trifecta of talent is staggering.
Discuss: Do you think the Chinese film industry needs Hollywood names attached in order to attract a more global audience? Are you at all excited about this project?
(via Total Film)
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TAGS: Chinese movies • Film adaptation • Guillermo del Toro • James Cameron • Journey to the West • Monkey King • Neil Gaiman
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