Record 'Monkey King' Business Prompts Plans for Sequel

6:31 AM PST 02/06/2014 by Clifford Coonan
Filmko
"The Monkey King"

Producers say a follow-up to the record-breaking 3D fantasy epic is planned, but are holding off on details until current run is over.

A sequel to Hong Kong director Poi Soi Cheang's record-breaking 3D fantasy epic The Monkey King is in the works, but producers are cagey on details until the movie's current, wildly successful box office run in China is done.

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Featuring Chow Yun-fat, Aaron Kwok and Donnie Yen, and produced by Filmko Pictures and China Film Group, The Monkey King took a record $41 million on its opening day, and made nearly $65 million in its first four days.

"I do indeed plan to do a sequel, but for the time being the main focus is on the box office performance of the current movie," Filmko chief Alex Wong, told Mtime, China's biggest online film review site. "We will announce details about when we will shoot or who will play in it when there is progress."

The movie's star Aaron Kwok was keeping quiet on the details of a sequel, telling various local media that he had not heard about how who would play the roles of Piggy or Sandy in the production, or indeed on any other news about the sequel. Rumors are circulating that Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming has been offered the role of Piggy, and the Oriental Daily News newspaper reported the sequel would be shot in September.

It is fairly clear from the movie that a sequel is on the cards. The film is bookended with a monologue by Yuanzhuang (voiced by Louis Koo), the monk who will eventually lead the monkey on a trip to find holy scriptures.

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Chow Yun-fat had remarked that there would only be a sequel if the movie took in more than $16.5 million (100 million yuan), and the movie has since taken  three times that in its opening weekend.

There is a seemingly endless appetite for adaptations of Wu Chen-en's classic Journey to the West tales -- Stephen Chow's Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, which also deals with the Monkey King legend, was the most popular film in China in 2013.

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