You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sony Takes Rights to Stephen Chow’s ‘Journey to the West 2’

Sony has picked up North American and multi-territory rights to hugely anticipated Chinese movie “Journey to the West: Demon Chapter.” The film is a rare collaboration between action comedy-king Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer,” “Kung Fu Hustle”) as producer, and fantasy specialist Tsui Hark (“The Black Mast,” “Once Upon a Time in China”) as director.

English-language territories covered by the deal include the U.S. and Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. The studio also gains rights in much of Asia outside China. They include Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

The film is a sequel to the Chow-directed “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons,” which was released in 2013 and grossed a global $215 million. It was a loose fantasy comedy reinterpretation of the classic Chinese tale “Journey to the West.”

Confirmation of the deal was announced at the CineAsia convention in Hong Kong by Stephen O’Dell, president of international releasing for SPRI. The deal was brokered through Sony Pictures International Productions, the studio’s local-language production venture.

Journey to the West: Demon Chapter” is produced by Chow’s Star Overseas company and by Alibaba Pictures Group, with a reported budget of over $60 million. It is currently set for a release in China on Jan. 28, 2017, the first day of the Chinese New Year holiday. Chow ruled this year’s Chinese New Year with his “The Mermaid,” which grossed over $530 million to become the highest grossing film of all time in China.

O’Dell described the pickup and an increase in local production, as part of a two year effort by Sony Pictures Entertainment under the leadership Tom Rothman to make the studio more relevant to Asian audiences.

The Sony presentation in Hong Kong rounded with Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson on stage to introduce “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.” The pair returned moments later to help present a lifetime achievement award to Sony Pictures’ soon-to-retire Japan head Noriaki “Dick” Sano.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Game of Thrones Season 6

    British Directors Guild Issues Guidelines for Filming Nudity and Simulated Sex

    Directors UK, the professional guild for screen directors in Britain, has launched guidelines for directing nude and simulated sex scenes to prevent unprofessional conduct in film and TV. Described as the “first of their kind in the U.K.,” the new guidelines “are born of the need to set clear and shared professional expectations that apply [...]

  • People attend the opening ceremony of

    Korean Festival Selectors Resign Over Programming Independence Complaint

    Three programmers who have headed the Jeonju International Film Festival, South Korea’s second largest festival, resigned en masse on Tuesday. They say they are protesting the encroachment on their independence by the board of directors and city authorities. The three – Kim Young-jin, Lee Sang-yong and Jang Byeong-won – have led the Jeonju film festival [...]

  • Yuni Hadi

    Singapore Film Festival to Reflect South East Asian Spirit of Cooperation

    Yuni Hadi, executive director of the Singapore International Film Festival, says South East Asian cinema contains exciting talent. And that the way forward involves cooperation with the video streaming platforms. What have been the high and low points of the cinematic year for Southeast Asian cinema? “There are some amazing short films and documentaries that [...]

  • Adele Haenel Adèle Haenel

    Accusations Against Roman Polanski, Other Filmmakers Propel #MeToo in France

    When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke two years ago, the news was mostly met in France with a Gallic shrug. Screen icon Catherine Deneuve even denounced the #MeToo movement as creating a “totalitarian” environment. But bombshell accusations this month from actors Adèle Haenel and Valentine Monnier may finally have turned the tide in the local film [...]

  • Peppa Pig

    U.K. Competition Watchdog to Examine Hasbro's $4 Billion Deal for Entertainment One

    Britain’s competition watchdog will investigate Hasbro’s $4 billion takeover of Entertainment One. The Competition and Markets Authority said Thursday that it would examine whether the intended acquisition of eOne would result in a “substantial lessening of competition” under U.K. rules. The CMA was deeply involved in scrutinizing the sale of Sky, which was ultimately bought [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content