2016’s Lunar New Year blockbuster film The Monkey King 2 <西遊記之三打白骨精> will be getting a sequel, and the latest rumors are saying that we may get yet another new monkey king.
The first film in the series, The Monkey King <西遊記之大鬧天宮>, was released in 2014, with Donnie Yen (甄子丹) in the star monkey role. The Monkey King 2 was released two years later with Aaron Kwok (郭富城) replacing Donnie as Sun Wukong. Both films, released during the Lunar New Year time slot, each grossed over 1.3 billion RMB in the box office.
On May 20, Chinese actor William Feng Shaofeng (馮紹峰), who starred as the reverent young monk Tang Sanzang in The Monkey King 2, shared a concept art poster for the upcoming sequel on his Weibo. Subtitled Kingdom of Women <女兒國>, the poster shows an artistic painting of the back of a woman wearing a flowing red dress. Soi Cheang (鄭保瑞), the director of the last two films, will be returning. The Monkey King 3 is locked for a 2018 Lunar New Year release.
The Monkey King 3 is currently in its early stages of pre-production, and William himself has not specified whether or not he will reprise his role in the threequel. However, while promoting The Monkey King 2 last year, the 37-year-old did express his interest in continuing his involvement in the franchise and urged the studios to green light another film.
Fans, however, are wary of his involvement. Currently tied to other film projects for the remainder of the year, it seems unlikely that William would have time to film The Monkey King 3. Nonetheless, director Soi Cheang did openly extend an invitation to William to return. Even if William cannot reprise his role as Tang Sanzang, he may appear in the film as a guest character.
The cast for The Monkey King 3 has not been finalized yet, but with William promoting the film on his Weibo, fans are pretty sure that he will be involved in it in some way. Some fans suggest that Soi Cheang could be eyeing him to play the lead role, Sun Wukong.
Meanwhile, reports say that a fourth installment, The Monkey King 4 <西遊記之三借芭蕉扇>, is also greenlighted and in development.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.