In the comments of the 12 best Donnie Yen fights, hbomb and I mentioned that we hadn’t heard anything about The Monkey King in a while. It’s an IMAX 3D fantasy epic directed by Soi Cheang and based off characters from Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West. The film stars Donnie Yen, Chow Yun-fat, Aaron Kwok, Joe Chen Chiau-En, and Kelly Chen.
Just this morning, Donnie Yen’s official Facebook page shared a new poster for The Monkey King. It’s a good look at the full Monkey King make-up, and it reminds me a little bit of Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf. (Not a bad thing.) It’ll be interesting to see how this compares to Stephen Chow’s Odyssey, another Monkey King/Journey to the West movie which will likely be released in 2013.
In our interview with Donnie Yen, he mentioned that The Monkey King posed a couple of challenges for him. For one, there was filming action sequences in IMAX 3D, which was a logistical issue given the size of the cameras. The makeup was also an issue, requiring four hours to put on and an hour to take off. Then there’s the issue of his own performance, and Yen noted that he spent lots of time trying to get his facial expressions to show through the prosthetics and get the physicality of a monkey down.
The Monkey King comes out in China some time next year. Also coming out in 2013 are Special Identity, in which Donnie Yen has a rematch against Collin Chou, and the 3D remake of The Iceman Cometh (the Yuen Biao movie, not the Eugene O’Neill play… though the latter would be interesting too). Dragon (Wu Xia) is out in select theaters right now.[Via Donnie Yen’s Facebook page]