Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Journey to the West - Neil Gaimon style

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Cincinnat, OH, USA

    Journey to the West - Neil Gaimon style

    Neil Gaiman to script 'Journey'

    By Clifford Coonan

    BEIJING -- Top Chinese TV producer Zhang Jizhong has signed up best-selling author Neil Gaiman to write a script for a $300 million adaptation of the ancient Chinese folk tale "Journey to the West."

    Getting Gaiman ("Coraline") on board adds real heft to Zhang's bid to make what he hopes will be the first true crossover Sino-Western epic.

    The "Stardust" and "The Graveyard" novelist and his "Sandman" series won many awards. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie awards for the same work.

    James Cameron will advise on script matters and technology issues, such as 3D, Zhang said at a briefing in Beijing, and among the helmers they are considering is Guillermo del Toro, who is a close friend of Gaiman.

    "He has shown a lot of interest but he wants to see the treatment first. Obviously the more celebrated the director, the busier they are," Zhang said.

    Since he started working on the project, Zhang has been keen to make it an epic on a Hollywood scale. The plan is three films initially, each with a budget of at least $100 million.

    "My wish would be that half of the funding comes from China, and half of the funding comes from Hollywood, but I know most of the money will come from China since now it is so easy to get funding here.

    "Huayi Brothers are willing to take part, and China Film Group, but this is all in the future, for now we need to go through certain procedures to get there," said Zhang.

    "Journey" is a rollicking 500-year-old story by Wu Cheng'en, detailing the events that befall the Monkey King, armed with a magic staff, as he journeys with a monk, a pig spirit and a fish spirit to India to retrieve Buddha's scrolls in an effort to find enlightenment.

    The movie will be shot in English using a mixture of Western and Chinese thesps, though the production will be in China to take advantage of cheaper production costs here. Coin would come from local Chinese backers, and there would also be lots of intangible benefits in the shape of support from local governments in China.

    "One million dollars is worth twice that if you shoot here," said Zhang.

    "I'm looking forward to the treatment, but as James Cameron told me, I need to be patient. I work in TV usually, so I'm used to things happening quickly. I need to focus on the script and make sure it's a good story," said Zhang.

    Gaiman has just come back from a trip to Yunnan province with Zhang to look at areas that might inspire the scribe, and he has travelled extensively in China personally.

    Earlier experiments with other writers foundered, but Zhang was impressed by Gaiman's interest in, or even obsession with, the "Journey" story.

    A couple of years back Britpop legend Damon Albarn made an opera based on "Journey to the West," and Zhang has made a mammoth TV series of "Journey."

    The story is hugely popular in China, both as a book and in numerous TV and screen incarnations -- a TV version by the helmer Yang Jie topped all ratings in China back in 1986.

    A Japanese version of the show, "Monkey," which was shot in Northeastern China with Japanese thesps, then subsequently dubbed into English, was a monster hit in the late 1970s when it was broadcast in Blighty and Oz, and still enjoys cult status among 30-somethings and above, including Gaiman, who has been obsessed with "Journey" since the Japanese show.

    The Chinese are fiercely protective of "Journey" and you often hear people say that Westerners don't get it. Gaiman doesn't mind.

    "There is nothing inherently Greek about 'The Odyssey.' These are big stories that work with people. There are 2,000 pages filled with adventures. The delight and the challenge is to write a story that for 1.4 billion people is in their DNA," he said.
    So how many people are adapting this now? I can't say that I'm too thrilled about the mixed caste. I hope they don't screw it up. I think the best film adaptation so far is Stephen Chow's A Chinese Odyssey.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Very cool, ghostexorcist

    The main other film in production currently is this: Monkey King - IMAX-3D featuring Donnie Yen

    We have a short Monkey King thread where I started collated various JttW projects. I should add to that now with this.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.


    Seemed to fit this project best.
    'Monkey King' to journey West for film discussions
    By Zhang Rui, May 9, 2012

    Veteran Chinese actor Liu Xiao Ling Tong, a.k.a. Zhang Jinlai, told a press conference at the Fifth Chinese National Cultural Industry Development Forum that he will fly to the United States next month to discuss a film adaptation of the Chinese classic "Journey to the West", the Beijing Times reported.

    Zhang said that he will talk to Hollywood moguls James Cameron and Steven Spielberg about the project.

    Zhang is a household name in China for his vivid portrayal of "Monkey King" Sun Wukong in the 1986's TV series "Journey to the West."

    The 53-year-old actor told reporters that the film project has been in the pipeline for more than five years, although he expressed his sense of dissatisfaction with the efforts of domestic script writers.

    "Some scripts are ridiculous! I want to find an American script writer to rewrite it," he said, explaining that he wanted a script with a more international flavor and appeal." I will also approach James Cameron and Steven Spielberg and ask them to front the project," he added, concluding that he hoped the film would be finished next year.

    Zhang said there was a possibility the film could be shot in 3D format, but he emphasized that the most task is to retain the essential aspect of Chinese culture, which is the story's foundation.

    Zhang said that he would star in the new film, despite of his age. "I'm still working on my Kung Fu and performance," he said, adding that some of the film's other roles could be filled by an international cast. "For me, it is okay if an Indian actor plays the Buddha," he said.

    The 16th-century fantasy novel "Journey to the West", written by Wu Chen'en, is one of China's four great literary masterpieces, and there have been many Asian film and TV adaptations of the classic story. The 1986 TV version in which Zhang starred is still the most popular adaptation among Chinese viewers.

    Zhang Jinlai also said that he would continue to advocate a "Journey to the West" theme park. "If China can build Disneyland, why can't it also build a 'Journey to the West' theme park? I will urge relevant parties to materialize it soon,” he said.

    The Fifth Chinese National Cultural Industry Development Forum will be held in Beijing on June 29.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4

    25th generation inner door disciple of Chen Style Practical Wombat Method
    Officially certified by Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch Abune Mathias
    grandmaster instructor of Wombat Combat™®LLC Practical Wombat Method. international academy retreat

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    why after all these years i still open bawang's links, i will never understand...
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts