You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Thinkwell plans Monkey King site

Zhonghong develops $1.53 bil Beijing theme park

Chinese real estate company Zhonghong has signed U.S.-based entertainment-venue developer Thinkwell to design a $1.53 billion theme park on the outskirts of Beijing based on the Monkey King legend.

The pair have been collaborating on the concept since mid-2010, and the park is slated to open in 2014. “By integrating our traditional culture with modern theme park technology, this project will provide Beijing with a Disney-quality park that tells stories important to China,” Zhonghong chairman Wang Yonghong said.

The Monkey King is a central character in “Journey to the West,” a 500-year-old folk tale by Wu Cheng’en. Armed with a magic staff, he journeys with a monk, a pig spirit and a fish spirit to India to retrieve Buddha’s scrolls to find enlightenment.

Project will have the Monkey Kingdom theme park at its core and will include conference centers, hotels, exhibition halls, retail, residential and “culturally significant entertainment.” Several shingles are working on adaptations of the legend, including TV producer Zhang Jizhong, who signed author Neil Gaiman to script a $300 million adaptation of the story.

Zhonghong is also keen on a film adaptation.

Kelly Ryner, Thinkwell’s senior veep of global business development, said: “Zhonghong Real Estate is committed to building a new franchise around the legendary Monkey King stories, and we’ve recently introduced them to a major motion picture company in Los Angeles to potentially produce the film.”

Theme parks are a growing trend in China as real estate booms and the economy continues to simmer. Disney recently broke ground on a $4.4 billion resort in Shanghai, while commercial media company Huayi Brothers is forming a joint venture with a real estate developer to build a $460 million movie theme park in Suzhou, near Shanghai.

More Film

  • Legion M Launches Film Scout Mobile

    Film News Roundup: Legion M Launches Film Scout Mobile App at Sundance

    In today’s film news roundup, Legion M is launching its Film Scout mobile app, the first round of Oscar presenters are unveiled, Verve is expanding its book-to-screen business, “Gladiator” producer David Franzoni boards an American Indian project, and XYZ announces promotions. SUNDANCE LAUNCH Fan-owned Legion M is launching its Film Scout mobile app at this [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    APA Reaches Deal With Writers Guild of America

    APA has reached a deal with the Writers Guild of America, ending a nine-month standoff over allowing the agency to represent guild members. The full-service agency made the announcement Tuesday, four days after the Gersh agency signed a similar deal with the WGA. It’s the sixth mid-size agency to accede to the WGA’s bans on [...]

  • UTA Sundance

    UTA Marketing Ups Sundance Game With Private Residence, Programming

    Talent agency hospitality is a mainstay at the Sundance film Festival, be it in swanky lounges on Park City’s Main Street or private chalets in nearby Deer Valley. United Talent Agency, whose talent roster and independent film group always come in force each year, typically throws a brunch for friends and press — but will [...]

  • Joel Silver

    Silver Pictures Settles with Family of Assistant Who Died on Bora Bora Trip

    Silver Pictures has reached a confidential settlement with the family of Carmel Musgrove, the assistant to Joel Silver who was found dead in a Bora Bora lagoon in 2015. Musgrove’s family filed a wrongful death suit in 2017, alleging that she had been overworked and furnished with drugs and alcohol during the trip. The family [...]

  • David O. Russell

    David O. Russell Looks at 'Three Kings' 20 Years Later

    When David O. Russell made “Three Kings” in 1999, it was one of the most definitive films on the Gulf War. At the time, the director had worked on shorts “Hairway to the Stars” and “Bingo Inferno: A Parody on American Obsessions.” He had also worked on features “Spanking the Monkey” and “Flirting with Disaster.” [...]

  • Metoo Sundance The Glorias Zola On

    #MeToo Issues Continue to Make an Impact on Sundance Films

    If there were any doubts that the impact of sexual-harassment exposés­­ and backlash against them had died down, Oprah Winfrey put them to rest when she withdrew her name (and Apple’s distribution) from “On The Record,” a film about allegations against music execs Russell Simmons and L.A. Reid — just two weeks before its Sundance Film Festival premiere. Variety reached out to Winfrey and the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content