×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Monkey Prince’ Hatched by China’s Bona and Japan’s Toei Animation

China’s Bona Film and Japan’s Toei Animation have teamed to develop and co-produce big-budget English-language animation feature, “The Monkey Prince.” The film, which has already been in early preparation since 2015 is pitched as “a Chinese legend, mixed with Hollywood story-telling, and Japanese animation.”

John A Davis will direct from a script by David Stem and David N. Weiss, as an adaptation on the oft-told “Monkey King” story. Co-creator isNaoto Oshima (“Jimmy Neutron”) and Craig Elliot as head of design. Production is by Chuck Williams (“Brother Bear,” “Lion King,” “Aladdin”).

The picture also involves Japanese production company Sola Entertainment, Sammy and Marza Animation, Taiwan-based A Really Good Film Company, which is a run by Bona executive VP Jeffrey Chan and is an affiliate of Bona. Details of the project were announced Wednesday at TIFFCOM, on the margins of the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Other financiers may be brought in to compete the $30 million budget. The producers envisage making further announcements next week at the American Film Market. Delivery is scheduled for 2020, slightly after the Tokyo Olympics.

“One area that really interests us is global family entertainment. Japan is the world’s largest producer of animation, but does not do enough in this family area,” said Joseph Cho. He was founder of Sola Digital Arts, and previously had a background at Warner Bros. in Los Angeles. “The world’s three largest film markets the U.S., China and Japan all pulling in different directions. The challenge is to pull it all together.”

The film has already received co-production approval from the mainland Chinese authorities. Chan said that he hopes to bring on board further Chinese partners to be announced in the coming weeks.

“This is aimed at the global market so we need to work with the gold standard and deliver it in English. We may reanimate mouth movements for the Japanese audience, though they are less sensitive than Chinese audiences,” said Cho. “We will have to adapt it, not just dub it for China, as it is a co-production,” said Chan.

More Film

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    Bond 25 Moved Back Two Months to April 2020

    James Bond will arrive two months later than planned as MGM moved back the release date on the untitled Bond 25 movie from Feb. 14 to April 8, 2020 — a Wednesday before the start of Easter weekend. It’s the second delay for Bond 25. MGM and Eon originally announced in 2017 that the film [...]

  • Fast and Furious 8

    'Fast and Furious 9' Release Date Pushed Back Six Weeks

    Universal Pictures has shifted “Fast and Furious 9” back six weeks from April 10 to May 22, 2020 — the start of the Memorial Day weekend. It’s the second backwards shift for the title. In 2017, Universal moved the film back a year from April 19, 2019, to April 10, 2020. Both dates fall on [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    'Alita' Inching Past 'Lego Movie 2' at Presidents Day Weekend Box Office

    James Cameron’s “Alita: Battle Angel” has a slight edge over “The Lego Movie 2” in a tight race for domestic box office supremacy during Presidents Day weekend. Both are aiming for about $27 million, early estimates showed on Friday. The two titles are the only current bright spots as overall moviegoing for 2019 trails far [...]

  • Ludwig Goransson Black Panther Composer

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Scores

    Unlike the song category, it’s impossible to predict the winner from this year’s quintet of original-score nominees. It’s almost anyone’s game. Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson spent a month in Africa recording unusual drums, flutes and vocals, then adding them to a massive London orchestra and choir to create a unique soundscape for the fictional land [...]

  • Oscars Best Song Nominees

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Songs

    This year’s crop of Oscar-nominated songs may be the most diverse in years: a ballad and a pop-rap from two of the year’s biggest films, plus a delicate lullaby from a Disney musical, a political themed anthem, and a novelty tune for singing cowboys. “Shallow,” the top-10 hit from “A Star Is Born,” is widely [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content