Hong Kong’s Filmko is teaming up with Mandarin Films to finance and produce $30m 3D fantasy Monkey King, combining Hollywood stereoscopic and VFX talents with major Asia stars.
Mainland Chinese film director A Gan, who recently shot and released 3D drama Don Quixote in China, will serve as producer of the film while Hong Kong director Soi Cheng (Dog Bite Dog) will direct.
Having its story drawn from Chinese mythology classic Journey to the West, Monkey King, scripted by Hong Kong’s Edmond Wong (Dragon Tiger Gate, Ip Man ), will be more focused on the Monkey King’s mischievous deeds as he makes a stir in the heavenly palace and offended all gods in heaven.
The crew includes David Ebner (Alice in Wonderland, Spider Man 3), who will serve as VFX supervisor for the film and Shaun Smith (300, I Am Legend, The Forbidden Kingdom) who will be the special make-up supervisor. Los Angeles-based Just Cause Productions (Avatar) will handle motion capture work for the film. Daniel Symmes will be director of stereography while Yang Tao will serve as DP for 2D cinematography. Donnie Yen will act as action choreographer.
According to A Gan, the film will be shot entirely in 3D with Red cameras and will set its resolution to match with IMAX format in order to make the film available for IMAX delivery. However, whether the film will be released in IMAX format is yet to be confirmed, A Gan said.
Donnie Yen will lead the cast as the Monkey King. Other leading actors include Chow Yun-fat, Aaron Kwok and Peter Ho. Hong Kong actresses Cecilia Cheung, Kelly Chen, Monica Mok and Taiwanese Joe Chen are leading female cast. Chinese diva Faye Wong is currently in talks to join the starry cast.
According to A Gan, shooting will start on Nov 3 and is scheduled to take 4 months. Post-work is expected to take more than15 months. The release date is set at summer 2012.
Mandarin and Filmko will jointly handle international sales of the film.