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Neil Gaiman To Adapt Monkey King Tale For 3D Movie Trilogy

Award-winning author and comics writer Neil Gaiman will pen an adaptation of the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West for a series of big-budget 3D films.

Gaiman replaces an earlier screenwriter on the planned $300 million trilogy from prominent Chinese television producer Zhang Jizhong, according to The Hollywood Reporter. James Cameron has agreed to consult on script and technology matters, while Gaiman’s friend Guillermo del Toro is being courted to direct.

Published in the 1590s, Journey to the West follows a Buddhist monk and his three protectors — the Monkey King, a pig spirit and a fish spirit — on a pilgrimage from China to India to retrieve the Buddha’s sacred scrolls.

“We have to do what Peter Jackson did with Lord of The Rings,” Gaiman tells the trade paper. “We have to make it filmic, non-episodic. This story is in the DNA of 1.5 billion people.”

The story has been adapted numerous times for stage and screen, recently as Monkey: Journey to the West, an opera by Gorillaz collaborators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. The 2010 fantasy-adventure The Forbidden Kingdom also also borrowed elements from the novel, including Jet Li’s Monkey King.

Gaiman, who’s widely known for his comic series The Sandman and for his novels American Gods, The Graveyard Book, Coraline and Stardust, wrote the BBC series Neverwhere and co-wrote the screenplays for Beowulf and MirrorMask. He also penned an episode for the upcoming season of Doctor Who.


  • coreymatthews


  • MonkeyKing

    I have no idea who Neil Gaiman is and have no comment on his talent.
    However, he is too late on this one. The first installment of a 3-D
    version of THE MONKEY KING Trilogy has already wrapped production in
    China; with a stellar cast and top creative team. It is the biggest
    budget film to come out of China and will be released in the US (and
    the known world) in 2012. The second installment begins shooting in
    August for release in 20013. Look under Asia or US Release under Filmko or Global Star Productions for more info.

  • BCA

    Deal lord. Not Gaiman. Of all people. And Del Toro. Both clueless. Can’t it be somebody else?