See-Saw Films, the Oscar-winning production company behind “The King’s Speech,” has started work on its latest television venture. Filming has begun in Auckland, New Zealand, on “The Legend of Monkey,” produced by See-Saw and Jump Film and TV, which will launch on ABC Australia, TVNZ and via Netflix around the world in 2018.
The 10-part series is inspired by the 16th-century Chinese fable that formed that basis of Stephen Chow’s Chinese box office blockbuster “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” and last year’s sequel from Tsui Hark. It has recently been a regular staple of the Chinese box office, with other productions such as the 2014 Chinese New Year hit “The Monkey King” and its 2016 sequel, and the 2015 animated film “Monkey King: Hero is Back.”
“The mythical tale of the Monkey King is a story that continues to captivate global audiences,” said Michael Carrington, head of children’s at ABC Television. “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.”
Told in ten 30-minute episodes, the story follows a teenage girl and a trio of fallen gods as they embark on a perilous journey to end a demonic reign of chaos and restore balance to their world. It stars includes Chai Hansen, Luciane Buchanan, Josh Thomson and Emilie Cocquerel.
Gerard Johnstone is lead director on the series, with Jacquelin Perske heading a writing team that includes Craig Irvin and Samantha Strauss. Irvin will also direct some episodes.
“The Legend of Monkey” is an Australian-New Zealand co-production for ABC Australia, TVNZ and Netflix, with key investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW, Fulcrum Media Finance and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.