“The Monkey King” Posters Reveal Re-imagined Characters
Above: Donnie Yen and Aaron Kwok star in “The Monkey King”.
Donnie Yen’s (甄子丹) major 3D film The Monkey King <西遊記之大鬧天宮> unveiled its official character posters on December 3. With elaborate costumes and colorful CGI backgrounds, the characters seem ripped directly from fantasy video games. The public also gets a sneak peek at Chow Yun Fat’s (周潤發) Jade Emperor for the very first time. Different from his more traditional portrayals, the re-imagined Jade Emperor transforms into a silver warrior this time around, protecting the Heavens with his unshakable sense of righteousness.
The film is a joint venture between Hong Kong and China, and is directed by Hong Kong director Cheang Pou Soi (鄭保瑞). Shot over a period of six months using IMAX 3D technology, the team spent an additional two years to perfect the special effects scenes. The story is inspired by the first part of Chinese classic Journey to the West <西遊記>, and details Monkey King Sun Wukong’s birth and rebellion against the Heavens.
Director Cheang took some liberties with the original material, rearranging plot elements and fleshing out characters in order to tell a more complete, touching story. Up-and-coming Chinese actress Xia Zitong (夏梓桐) plays new addition the Nine-Tailed Fox. Looking innocent and sweet, the character is said to be Sun Wukong’s childhood friend, and will likely play an important role in revealing Wukong’s background and intentions.
The Jade Emperor, the mighty ruler of the realms of Heaven, Men, and Hell, is often depicted as a traditional lord who gives out orders from the safety of his throne. Chow Yun Fat turns the Emperor into a fierce warrior, displaying the aura of an army general in his silver armor as he fights alongside his subordinates.
Although they did not appear in the novel until a later story arc, the Bull Demon King and his wife Princess Iron Fan will have heavy roles in this retelling. Aaron Kwok (郭富城) looks cool and collected as the Bull Demon King, his image exudes a sense of darkness and evil despite missing his trademark nose and its ring. Taiwanese actress Joe Chen (陳喬恩) plays Princess Iron Fan, looking more like the star of a fairy tale instead of the stubborn and shrew woman that fans are familiar with. The film will draw attention to the couple’s relationship, focusing on the Princess’ sacrifices and unconditional devotion to her husband.
The Monkey King also stars popular actors Peter Ho (何潤東), Gigi Leung (梁詠琪), Kelly Chen (陳慧琳), and Him Law (羅仲謙), and will be released on the first day of Chinese New Year, January 31, 2014.
“The Monkey King” Trailer
This article is written by Katrine for JayneStars.com.