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The Monkey King 2 premieres in London

By Liu Jing ( Updated: 2016-02-05 15:30

<EM>The Monkey King 2</EM> premieres in London

Film poster advertising The Monkey King 2. [Photo/]

London - Chinese movie The Monkey King 2, a 3D sequel to the 2014 Hong Kong-Chinese fantasy movie, hit the big screen in the UK on Friday, beginning a series of activities to celebrate Chinese New Year in the country.

The movie is adapted from the 16th-centry novel Journey to the West, one of China's four major literary classics.

The novel by Wu Cheng'en is based on the story of legendry Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) Buddhist monk Xuanzang, who traveled to today's India seeking sacred texts with his three disciples including Sun Wukong (the Monkey King), Zhu Wuneng (a pig monk also known as Zhu Bajie) and Sha Wujing.

In the movie, the Monkey King's master becomes the target of a White Skeleton Demon, who eats humans to attain immortal life.

Directed by Hong Kong's Pou-Soi Cheang, the movie stars actress Gong Li (White Skeleton Demon), Hong Kong pop singer-actor Aaron Kwok (the Monkey King), Wolf Totem star Feng Shaofeng (the Monkey King's Buddhist monk master) and Chinese-American singer-actor Christian Rand Phillips (a human king).

At a special screening in London on Friday, overseas Chinese joined officials and culturally curious Brits for the UK premiere.

"The Monkey King 2 best reflects the elements of Chinese traditional culture and echoes the year of the monkey," said Ni Jian, minister at the Chinese embassy in UK.

"In the past few years, the Chinese film industry has made tremendous progress, a growing number of high-quality movies have been produced and enjoy rising popularity with overseas viewers," Ni said.

"Film has become a window through which people outside China can learn about the country." he added.

The 2014 film took in more than one billion yuan ($152 million) after its release. The box office of its sequel looks more promising as it will be shown in 100 cities in 30 countries across four continents from the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year.

Another four big-budget movies featuring the Monkey King are expected to come out this year, thanks to a project backed by China's regulator of movie sector.

<EM>The Monkey King 2</EM> premieres in London

A special screening of The Monkey King 2 was held in London, Feb 4, 2016. [Photo by Song Wei/]

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