I’ve lost count of how many movies and TV shows have been inspired by Journey to the West, one of China’s “Four Great Novels”. Now, we can add another film to that never-ending list: Wukong (悟空传), starring Taiwanese actor Eddie Peng (彭于晏) as its titular main character Sun Wukong.
Sun Wukong, commonly known as the Monkey King, is probably the most well-known historical fantasy character in all of Chinese civilization, and thus ends up being at the forefront of most Journey to the West adaptations.
2017’s Wukong is a bit unique though. Rather than drawing straight from Journey to the West, it has been adapted from a popular internet novel (whose title can be roughly translated as “The Chronicles of Wukong”) inspired by Journey to the West. At the same time, though not common in the West, adapting an internet novel into a movie is quite normal in East Asia. Talk about multiple layers of adaptation though!
Wukong premieres in mainland China on July 13, 2017. Its running time is 2hr 3min.