Remember Monkey? Sure you do. It was the Japanese live-action adaptation of Chinese fable Journey to the West, that was horrendously dubbed into English and became a cult classic. It even got repeat screenings on Channel 4 and ITV2 a few years back in the UK.
Why bring it up now? Well, it looks like someone with no sense of humour has commissioned a remake for Australian TV network ABC. Currently filming in New Zealand, The Legend of Monkey will be screened on ABC, New Zealand channel TVNZ and be available on Netflix to the rest of the world.
Michael Carrington, Head of Children’s at ABC Television, had this to say about the reboot:
“The mythical tale of the Monkey King is a story that continues to captivate global audiences. “Our production partner See-Saw Films is bringing The Legend of Monkey to life through incredible locations and sets, an acclaimed production team and an exciting diverse young cast. We can’t wait for fans to see this new series that features the heroes they love and we are just as excited to introduce this re-imagined magical and exciting world to a whole new generation of viewers.”
For the uninitiated, the titular Monkey was a demigod with phenomenal fighting skills who possessed a magic staff and could summon a magical cloud to fly on, magic carpet style. He is accompanied by the intelligent Tripitaka, greedy Pigsy and mopey brawler Sandy. Sound familiar? Yep, it’s because the first saga of Dragon Ball was based on Journey to the West, with Monkey’s original Chinese name of Sun Wukong translating into Japanese as Son Goku.
It’ll be interesting to see how well this is handled, and whether an Australian/New Zealand production can recapture the essence of the original. Although I do have my reservations about some of the casting, the costumes are certainly looking the part:
So what do you guys think? Could this buck the reboot trend or is it just another terrible remake? Let us know.