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Big bucks behind new Monkey King film

By Xu Fan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-04-18 09:25

Big bucks behind new Monkey King film

Feng Shaofeng, starring the Buddhist monk Tang Seng, promotes the upcoming Monkey King 3 with lead actress Zhao Liying, who plays the queen of a magical kingdom. [Photo provided to China Daily]

One of the most expensive Chinese-language films ever made, the 500-million-yuan ($72.6 million) The Monkey King 3 recently concluded the five months of filming across China.

The stellar cast, including Chinese mainland actors Feng Shaofeng, Shen He (aka Xiao Shenyang), mainland actress Zhao Liying, Hong Kong actor-singer Aaron Kwok and Taiwan supermodel-actress Lin Chi-ling, attended the celebration party in Beijing on April 15.

Inspired by the 16th-century novel Journey to the West, the third installment of the Monkey King franchise features a magical kingdom which has only women. The empire's female ruler (Zhao), has a crush on the protagonist Buddhist monk Tang Seng (Feng), but the romance evolves to a sad ending.

Kwok will reprise his role of the powerful superhero Monkey King, while Shen again plays the Zhu Bajije, a pig demon alongside the monkey to escort Tang on his adventure.

Hong Kong director Cheang Pou-soi, who also steered the previous two installments, reveals that The Monkey King 3, with its astonishing budget, is the largest-scale title in his career of more than 20 years.

The movie was shot in the provinces of Yunnan, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Sichuan, and on the island of Taiwan.

The crew of up to 2,500 built outdoor filming sets up to 80,000 square meters, and used 11 indoor sound stages.

The fantasy epic is set to open across China on the first day of 2018 Spring Festival, which will fall on Feb 16.

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