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Thread: Stephan Chow's Journey to the West: Conquering Demons

  1. #1
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    Stephan Chow's Journey to the West: Conquering Demons

    Stephen Chow Has Started Working On A NEW CHINESE ODYSSEY
    by Hugo Ozman, July 18, 2011 10:03 AM
    Action, Asia, Comedy, Drama

    Long before Stephen Chow came to fame in the West with SHAOLIN SOCCER and KUNG FU HUSTLE, he was already a superstar in Asia for many years and starred in many classic films. His 1994 films A CHINESE ODYSSEY PART ONE: PANDORA'S BOX and PART TWO: CINDERELLA were two of his early classics. Loosely based on the famous Chinese novel A Journey to the West, the films tell the story of the Monkey King travelling with his friends to the west to acquire sutras from India.

    Now news has come that Chow has already started shooting A NEW CHINESE ODYSSEY. He is co-directing the film with Kwok Chi-kin (GALLANTS' director), while also acting as the film's producer and screenwriter.

    According to reports, Chow was originally planning to play a master monk, but now is likely going to reprise his role as the Monkey King (on the request of the film's investors). Anthony Wong will be playing the role of the master monk instead, while Taiwanese pop star Show Luo will be playing Pigsy. The gorgeous Shu Qi will be starring as the film's heroine.

    I think this news is most interesting not only because Stephen Chow is now making a new film and reprising an old role, but of the fact that Donnie Yen is also playing the Monkey King in his upcoming new film (titled THE MONKEY KING).
    Been wondering what Chow was up to next. Never saw CO1. I really should...
    Gene Ching
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    Now titled Journey to the West?

    Posted: Tue., Nov. 1, 2011, 5:26am PT
    Village Roadshow sets up shingle in China
    Company to co-produce Zhang Ziyi starrer 'Lucky Star'

    By Clifford Coonan

    Village Roadshow is the latest international shingle to enter the booming China market with the launch of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group Asia, a platform for Chinese production and distribution.

    Its slate is headed by romantic comedy "My Lucky Star," produced by and starring Chinese thesp Zhang Ziyi. VREG Asia and Dadi Media will jointly finance and co-produce the pic, which will be helmed by Dennie Gordon.

    The slate also includes Stephen Chow's "Journey to the West," a version of the Monkey King legend. Chow will helm, produce and write "Journey," while Bingo Group, VREG Asia and Edko Films are jointly financing and co-producing.

    VREG Asia's topper will be former Warner Bros. China exec Ellen Eliasoph, who has 25 years' experience in the region, with Ming "Beaver" Kwei as executive VP of development and production, and Lizhi Chen as VP of marketing and distribution.

    "Having worked with China's filmmakers and film companies for many years in a joint effort to develop the film market, I am gratified to witness China's growing emergence as a major player in the global film industry, and delighted to be a part of it," said Eliasoph, who worked on Warner Bros.' "Turn Left, Turn Right," "The Painted Veil" and "Crazy Stone."

    "VREG Asia will propel this trend forward by working closely with China's filmmakers, helping them tell their stories, and working to bring their films to an ever-widening audience around the world."

    VREG Asia has also formed strategic alliances with Australian vfx and animation studio Animal Logic; Cimarron Group, an entertainment marketing group with offices in Beijing and Los Angeles, and research and marketing information company Screen Engine.
    Hopefully this means Chow's Journey will get decent U.S. distribution.
    Gene Ching
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    i think he has a deal with sony so im sure itll be shown here....even thou they were ****ed at him for not doing KFH2 and green hornet(sony was the distributor on it) chow is still good money in the US.

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    **** I wish the DVD place on Elizabeth street was still open in NYC. i don't have anywhere to really go to get imported DVD's anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BakShaolinEC View Post
    **** I wish the DVD place on Elizabeth street was still open in NYC. i don't have anywhere to really go to get imported DVD's anymore.
    i wanted to cry man...the one on mott is closed to...there are others tho, cant remember the street names...next time im in chinatown ill post them...but there is also places on 14th street that carry imports but they are like 14 bucks a pop.

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    Chow speaks... a little

    24 May 2012 - 07H31
    'Monkey' to go West again as cinema power shifts East

    AFP - Generations of Chinese grew up under the spell cast by Wu Cheng'en's "Journey to the West", the 16th Century adventure epic which is the subject of two major upcoming film adaptations.

    Hopes are that the tale will continue to leave audiences spellbound, with shooting now wrapped on actor and director Stephen Chow's version of the tale and another starring "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" star Chow Yun-fat.

    Lauded as one of China's "Four Great Classical Novels", it has inspired operas, including one penned by acclaimed British rocker Damon Albarn, a string of cinema hits dating back to the 1940s and a popular online game.

    "'Journey to the West' is a story full of imagination," Chow told AFP.

    "The plot is beyond any other fantasy," added the Hong Kong-based star, who is one of China's biggest box office draws with films including "Shaolin Soccer" (2001) and "Kung Fu Hustle" (2004).

    As China's rapidly expanding film industry continues to break new commercial ground, Chinese filmmakers are increasingly looking to literary adaptations for their inspiration -- with "Journey to the West" a time-honoured favourite.

    Chow is putting final touches to his 110 million yuan ($17.3 million) adaptation, whose working title is "Journey to the West" and stars Chinese actors Wen Zhang and Shu Qi. It will be the third time he has used it as source material for a film.

    It will come up against another version featuring heavyweights Chow Yun-fat and Donnie Yen in the Soi Cheang-directed 3D epic "The Monkey King", costing an estimated 400 million yuan and which is also in post-production.

    Chow's fascination with the ancient text was first fuelled 30 years ago when he watched a grainy, black-and-white Cantonese film version of the tale in his local cinema house.

    "I think the reason it is still relevant nowadays -- and people still find it attractive -- is all down to its imagination. Until now I still don't see it being surpassed."

    It is the sheer scale of the source material available in the original text that has Chow returning to those pages once again.

    "The story is so creative. Yet it is so orderly arranged and structured. On the one hand the creative process is just as free as a bird but on the other hand the framework of the story is very well organized. This is very unique."

    The story is based on the legend of the monk Xuanzang's journey to India during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) to retrieve sacred texts.

    The monk is ordered on this quest towards spiritual enlightenment by Buddha and is placed under the protection of three disciples -- Sun Wukong (the Monkey King), Zhu Bajie (the pig), and Sha Wujing (the water buffalo) -- who are making up for past sins as well as a dragon prince who comes in the form of a horse.

    The story first started to appear on the big screen in the 1940s and has since been used as the basis for such hits as "Monkey Goes West" (1966) and the Jet Li-starring "The Forbidden Kingdom" (2008) as well as Chow's own "A Chinese Odyssey" parts one and two (1994).

    It has also been retold in a number of television productions -- most notably the Japanese series "Saiyuki" from the 1970s, which was then dubbed and screened around the world.

    More recently the tale was the basis of the acclaimed opera "Monkey: Journey to the West", put together by Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn and Chinese stage director Chen Shi-zheng.

    It has also surfaced in the Nickelodeon multi-player game "Monkey Quest", which the company last month claimed was the "fastest-growing virtual world for kids" with 10 million registered users in its first year.

    Kat Yeung, distribution executive at Filmko Films which is co-producing rival movie "The Monkey King" along with Mandarin Films, believes the lessons learned along the way by those characters still resonate centuries on.

    She says her company is putting a very modern spin on how the tale is told. "3D technology can show the 'Journey to the West' like it has never been seen before," she said.

    "We want to take this story international, not only to Chinese territories, and we think "The Monkey King" will be just the first episode. There are lots of chapters in the books with independent stories that can be told."

    Both productions are underway at a time when China is cementing its status as a cinema powerhouse.

    Box office takings surged 30 percent on-year in 2011, eclipsing those in North America. Beijing-based group Wanda is set to become the world's biggest cinema operator by sales with its $2.6 billion purchase of US firm AMC Entertainment.

    With the government-enforced quota of just 20 international films allowed in for screening each year still in place, it's an industry in need of productions and ideas, with "Journey to the West" seen as rich source for inspiration.

    Hong Kong-based film critic and historian Paul Fonoroff also believes its enduring success comes down to its universal themes.

    "It's a tale that has something for everybody: fantasy, adventure, cartoonish characters for the kids, an allegorical subtext for the adults, underlying themes of Buddhist enlightenment for the more spiritually inclined, and plenty of sex or at least sexual innuendo, depending on how the filmmakers want to play it," he explains.

    "The story's themes are timeless and have a resonance regardless of one's cultural background -- think Wizard of Oz multiplied a thousand times. And with characters like a monkey, pig, a dragon, it's not only loads of fun but -- equally important for 21st Century filmmakers -- it's a synergistic marketing dream."

    Both "Journey to the West" and "The Monkey King" are scheduled for release in 2013.
    I really must see Chinese Odyssey 1&2 before next year.
    Gene Ching
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    This is now going by "Slayer Legend" in some reports

    Stephen Chow To Return as the Monkey King!

    Big entertainment news — popular Chinese film star and director Stephen Chow is currently shooting scenes for his next motion picture, and it will be for another “Journey to the West” story!

    Chow has not been seen on camera ever since “CJ7” (2008) or as it is known in Chinese, “长江七号” (pinyin: Cháng Jiāng Qī Hào) the title of which which is a pun upon the Shenzhou 5 and Shenzhou 6 Chinese-manned space missions. Furthermore, Chow’s future projects have always been shrouded in secrecy, leading to speculation and rumor. Chow’s name has been attached to such projects as “The Green Hornet” (2011) before dropping out and being replaced by Jay Chou, Kung Fu Hustle 2, King of Comedy 2, and Tai Chi, a rumored English-language remake of Bruce Lee’s “Way of the Dragon” (1972).

    The new Journey to the West movie is entitled “西游记之除魔传奇” (Xī Yóu Jì Zhī Chú Mó Chuánqí) which loosely translates to “Journey to the West (Part III): The Legend of the Monster Slayer”. It is currently being secretly shot on a soundstage.

    Chow had previously portrayed the Monkey King, also known as Sun Wukong (孙悟空; Sūnwùkōng), in the films “A Chinese Odyssey: Pandora’s Box”(1994) and “A Chinese Odyssey: Cinderella” (1994).
    I'll change the thread title to “西游记之除魔传奇” (Xī Yóu Jì Zhī Chú Mó Chuánqí) “Journey to the West (Part III): The Legend of the Monster Slayer” at some later date perhaps.
    Gene Ching
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    Chinese Legend of the Odyssey of the Journey of the Slayer to the West

    Chinavision takes Chow's Journey
    By Patrick Frater
    Thu, 20 September 2012, 14:15 PM (HKT)
    Production News

    ChinaVision Media Group Ltd 文化中國傳播集團, the stockmarket-listed investment vehicle of Chinese film entrepreneur DONG Ping 董平, has boarded Journey to the West 除魔傳奇, the upcoming picture by superstar Stephen CHOW 周星馳 (pictured).

    Chinavision also announced an agreement with Chow (described in documents as Mr Chiau) to be involved in a further five Chow movies. It said it had obtained "an option to invest in the production of 5 motion pictures in which Mr. Chiau would play a significant role as filmmaker, producer, director, script writer, protagonist or other leading role within seven years from the date of the agreement."

    Chinavision is to pay RMB38 million ($6.0 million) for half of the stake in the film previously owned by Chow's Bingo Group Holdings Ltd 比高集團有限公司. That will give Chinavision "a 30% equity share of the rights to produce, market and distribute [Odyssey] on a worldwide basis".

    The film, which pegs Chow as screenwriter, executive producer and co-director (with Derek KWOK 郭子健) is notable as the first title for five years with Chow in a directing role. It is also likely to be the first movie to reach the market from the new Village Roadshow Entertainment Group Asia stable.

    A spokesman for VREA told Film Business Asia that the Chinavision acquisition dilutes Chow and Bingo's positions in Odyssey, but leaves unaltered the rights and positions of co-investors VREA and Edko.

    Two nights ago it emerged that ChinaVision may also co-finance Police Story 2013, to be directed by DING Sheng 丁晟 and star Jackie CHAN 成龍, in which Wanda Media Co Ltd 萬達影視傳媒有限公司 will also co-invest.
    It's all about Wanda now...
    Gene Ching
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    I've changed the title of this thread to 'Stephan Chow's Journey to the West'

    It's just easier that way for now, until they come up with a title that sticks.

    Stephen Chow's Journey To The West Second Teaser - BleedingCool.com

    Stephen Chow unveils new Monkey King epic
    By Zhang Rui
    China.org.cn, November 21, 2012



    Hong Kong comedian and director Stephen Chow announced on Tuesday in Beijing that his new epic "Journey to the West" is set to hit Chinese screen during the 2013 Spring Festival holiday season.

    A first short teaser was unveiled at the press conference, along with the official movie poster. The "Kung Fu Hustle" director said that he didn't take on any acting in this film and focused on the directing aspect of the production.

    "I can't afford myself because my remuneration is too high," Chow joked. But the film's producer Wang Zhonglei, boss of Huayi Brothers Media, said it was Chow himself who had asked not to let him act, because Chow only wanted to be the best director he could possibly be.

    Chow, once the most popular comedian in all of China, didn't elaborate on any of the movie's plots, but did reveal there is definitely a love story somewhere in there.

    Chow has previously spoken of his plans to create the most spectacular domestic special effects film ever to be produced in China in order to match Hollywood blockbuster standards, though the concept teaser shown to the press was not that impressive. Chow explained that it is still a work-in-progress and doesn't deem it necessary to disclose the film's final version just yet.

    Although shooting wrapped a year ago, there was a long period of post-production due to the large proportion of computer generated special effects involving creatures and supernatural elements.

    "We have a 500-member special effects team, "Chow said, "a home-made special effects film can still be on par with the Hollywood ones; the key to making that happen lies in the creative ideas." Wang also revealed that he has seen the unfinished version, which is full of oriental fantasies and stretches far beyond human imagination.


    Stephen Chow and Wang Zhonglei meet the press in Beijing, Nov. 21, 2012. [China.org.cn]

    The Chow-styled humor will also be present in this film. Wang said audiences are in for a good laugh from beginning to the end.

    A sequel to the Monkey King saga is highly possible, Chow said, "It will be such a waste if the story were to end here." Even the title gives a hint as it reads "Journey to the West: Fell Monsters Chapter", implying there will be more chapters. "'Journey to the West' is a most fascinating novel to dig into," Wang added, "Stephen Chow carries his version in his heart, and he is the best director to take the novel from its pages to the big screen."

    According to previous reports, Derek Kwok is co-directing and the cast includes Shu Qi, Huang Bo, Wen Zhang and Show Lo.

    Lauded as one of China's "Four Great Classical Novels," "Journey to the West" has inspired operas, a string of cinema hits dating back to the 1940s, cartoons and popular online games.

    It will be the third time Stephen Chow has used it as material for a film. He once played the lead of Monkey King Sun Wukong in a pair of 1994 films "A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box" and "A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella," directed by Jeffrey Lau, which are loosely based on the Chinese classic and combine slapstick comedy, Kung Fu adventure and a love story. "A Chinese Odyssey" films became a cult classic among young adults on Chinese mainland.

    It will vie against another film adaption version of "Journey to the West" to be screened next year, featuring heavyweights Chow Yun-fat and Donnie Yen in the Cheang Pou-Soi directed 3D epic "The Monkey King," costing an estimated 400 million yuan (US$64.16 million) and which is currently also in post-production.
    Gene Ching
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    A teaser

    Worth it just to see Shu Qi.
    Get Behind The Scenes Of Stephen Chow's JOURNEY TO THE WEST
    Al Young

    Huayi Bros have released a making-of video for Stephen Chow's Journey to the West with Chow giving direction to Shu Qi on acting a comedic performance. Its amusing to see him get animated but unfortunately, he will be applying his "Mo lei tau" humor mostly behind the camera rather than infront of it since its been reported earlier that he will only take a minor role so he can concentrate on directing.

    You'll find the making-of video (No English subtitles) embedded below. The fantasy comedy arrives in during the Spring Festival in 2013.

    周星驰新片《西游降魔篇》片场探秘 舒淇文章黄渤奉献颠覆性表演
    Gene Ching
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    Chinese Odyssey reviews

    I can see why these were released within weeks of each other around Chinese New Year. Part Two starts right where Part One ends and then jumps 500 years prior to Part One. These films are very confusing that way, so if you're looking for a sensible story arc (and why you would do that with Chow's films is questionable) these aren't for you. You could actually watch Part Two first as technically speaking, that is the prequel. If you are only planning to watch one of these, I'd watch Two as it is a better film, IMO. Also, you really need to be familiar with Journey to the West or it won't make a lick of sense. Like Forbidden Kingdom, these films are based heavily upon that epic tale, although the story itself is new, completely outside of the traditional narrative. But unlike FK, there is no attempt to explain the characters at all. It's just assumed you know who the Pigsy, Sandy, Bull King, the Spider Demon, et. al. are already.

    I get the English titles now - Pandora & Cinderella - they are painfully bad translations but I can see how they arrived at them.

    A Chinese Odyssey Part One - Pandora's Box (1995 西遊記101回月光寶盒)
    This was enjoyable although not very coherent. Chow's hijinks are funny, including SPOILER a repeated schtick about Chow's **** catching fire and having to be stomped out, which I have to confess got me to giggle END SPOILER. It's all long before CGI but the wire work and cheesey effects aren't that distracting, just a little dated. The martial arts are typical for fant-ASIA fare of the day - lots of flying about but it works surprisingly well, even now, given the subject matter. The connection to Monkey is slim beyond the Demons.

    A Chinese Odyssey Part Two - Cinderella (1995 西遊記完結篇仙履奇緣)
    This one was the better of the two films as it includes more of the characters from Monkey. It also makes the first film make a lot more sense. Chow's inspiration from Looney Toons is readily apparent, even with a classic bomb-with-burning-fuse-resulting-in-an-ash-faced-villain gag. Sanzhang as a bore was hysterical. The 'only you' song in prison was just wacky, so Stephan Chow. Overall, I liked his interpretation of the quest quartet. That was really missing for me in the first film. I started to get the female immortals mixed up, SPOILER which of course, got worse when they all changed bodies END SPOILER but it kept me entertained.

    I confess I have a soft spot for Chow's Mo Lei Tau humor. At some point in every film, he always gets a smile out of me. Chow is the only one who would imagine giving Monkey a Bruce Lee 'wataaah!' That's just wickedly funny.

    I'm eager to see his next take on this.
    Gene Ching
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    Thanks for the review.

    Shaolin Soccer is STILL one of my favorites. The scene where they sing the Shaolin song in the bar makes me laugh every single time. I even dragged my wife to see Kung Fu Hustle to the theatre when it came out.

    I may have to watch CO.
    It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. - Apache Proverb

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesC View Post
    Thanks for the review.

    Shaolin Soccer is STILL one of my favorites. The scene where they sing the Shaolin song in the bar makes me laugh every single time. [...]
    I've watched that scene so many times that I actually remembered the song. I find myself singing it sometimes. It always brings a smile to my face.

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    Wait...what?

    HK celebrity Stephen Chow to advise CCP on Kung Fu choreography
    By Beth Main



    ... no not really, he is going to advise them on politics.

    Stephen Chow the 51 year old Hong Kong actor, comedian, screenwriter, film director, producer and most importantly star of Kung Fu Hustle has been appointed to Guangdong's Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Committee... but he isn't actually a Communist.

    He has been included as one of 281 members from Hong Kong and Macau in a 'special invitation' sector that makes up part of the 978 strong committee. The movie star is affiliated with the Zhigongdang of China (one of the eight parties in China that aren't the CCP) but since the CPPCC is a political advisory body, which is dominated by the CCP anyway, he isn't likely to be writing new laws any time soon.

    978 members were adopted into the body during a provincial meeting in Guangzhou on Monday. Chow won't be the only celebrity cast member, and he will be joined by actor Kent Tong Chun-yip, and presenters Sally Wu and Ma Dingsheng, who have served on the committee before. His participation is set to increase media coverage of the Committee for the next five years.

    While many will question whether celebrities are qualified to advise politicians they can rest assured that Chow meets the CPPCC criter
    What could a 978 member committee every accomplish? I've been on committees with less than a dozen people and the only thing we could agree on was when the meeting was over.

    'Kung Fu Hustle' Star Stephen Chow Appointed to China's Top Political Advisory Body
    8:28 PM PST 1/14/2013 by Clarence Tsui
    Getty Images
    The comedian-director -- whose new film, "JTTW," is released next month -- will serve on one of the provincial arms of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

    HONG KONG – With his comeback movie just a month away from hitting Chinese cineplexes, Stephen Chow Sing-chi’s pedigree was given a major boost Monday with his appointment to the Chinese government’s top political advisory body.

    The Hong Kong comedian-director -- whose latest film, JTTW, is slated for release in his hometown Feb. 7 before opening across China on Feb. 10 -- was among the 978 delegates named to sit on the Guangdong provincial committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. His five-year tenure begins in January 2014, when he is expected to attend his first meeting in Guangzhou.

    Having kept his public appearances to a minimum in recent years – his most recent production was CJ7, the 2008 film which he starred in and directed – Chow surprised many last year when he called a press conference to endorse the candidacy of Henry Tang Ying-yen in Hong Kong’s Chief Executive elections. Before that, the actor was not known for making public stances beyond show business matters.

    Tang, a businessman who served as Hong Kong’s chief secretary for administration, eventually lost to Leung Chun-ying in a bitterly contested race, with his campaign undermined by revelations of an extramarital affair and also an illegally built basement in his mansion.

    Unlike the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, the CCPCC is largely an advisory body and was established by the Chinese Communist Party as a “united front” institution aimed at bringing non-party individuals into the establishment.

    While largely ceremonial, a place on the CCPCC is highly sought after as it signifies a level of officially sanctioned social standing in China – something that could facilitate the office-holders’ professional career in the country. Among the directors and actors who have served the institution in recent years are Zhang Yimou and Gong Li, who were appointees on the national level of the CCPCC.

    It remains to be seen what Chow’s level of participation will be. In the past, celebrity delegates have been reproached for not attending their annual meetings. Gong, for example, was subjected to much criticism in the Chinese media in 2008 for not turning up for meetings two years in a row, with officials forced to concede that such absence has become “a problem.”

    JTTW -- on which Chow serves as co-director (with Derek Kwok), screenwriter and producer -- is a new take on the Journey to the West legend about the adventures of a mischievous Monkey King, which the Hong Kong star himself played in a series of hit films (named A Chinese Odyssey) in the 1990s. The film stars mainland Chinese actor Wen Zhang (The Sorcerer and the White Snake, Love is Not Blind) as the primate spirit in a case also featuring Shu Qi (Three Times, The Transporter), Anthony Wong Chau-sang (Infernal Affairs, The Painted Veil) and Huang Bo (Crazy Stone, Lost in Thailand).
    Gene Ching
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