Richard Taylor to Help Bring Monkey King to US

Special effects maestro New Zealander Richard Taylor will direct the design of characters in the upcoming American film version of The Monkey King, a Chinese blockbuster.

“There has been a rush to bring Western-originated movies to the Chinese market,” said producers Mike Bundlie and Barry Levine, principals of Abstract Entertainment. “Monkey reverses that and will be the first English-language film focused on introducing a Chinese tale to the international audience, in a contemporary setting.”

Academy Award winner Taylor, co-founder of Wellington’s design and effects facility Weta Workshop, said he also sees the possibility of creating “a new fantastic approach to the Monkey King legend.”

The centuries-old Monkey King is a must-read for Chinese schoolchildren and continues to have a grip on the nation’s imagination. In 2014 a live-action version of The Monkey King was the third-highest-grossing film in China, raking in more than US$167 million. An animated remake, Monkey King: Hero Is Back, debuted this July and has already grossed close to US$151 million.

Original article by James Rainey, Variety, September 4, 2015.


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Taika Waititi Portrait Wins Packing Room Prize

Taika Waititi Portrait Wins Packing Room Prize

Sydney-based artist Claus Stangl has taken out one of Australia’s top art honours with his portrait of Academy Award-winning director Taika Waititi, The Guardian reports. Stangl won the packing room prize, a…