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Stan Lee’s Monkey Master to Receive Live-Action Adaptation with John Woo Producing

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As the Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps chugging along with the upcoming release of Black Widow, it seems that some of Stan Lee’s other comic book creations will be finding their way into movies as well. Director John Woo revealed Thursday that he is attached to produce a live-action adaptation of the unreleased series Monkey Master, which Lee created with his frequent collaborator Sharad Devarajan in 2016.Drawing from Lee and Devarajan’s story, the film will follow Li Yong, an archeologist that discovers an ancient prophecy about the Chinese legend of The Monkey King. Yong’s findings lead him on an adventure in India, where a hidden power transforms him into a superhero.Stan Lee discussed his creative investment in Monkey Master in 2016, two years before his death in November 2018. “I have always been fascinated by the Chinese and Indian cultures which are so philosophical and rich in tradition and morality,” Lee said. “Monkey Master will be unique in how it interweaves myth to create a modern-day hero that will entertain fans across the world with his martial arts skills and unstoppable super-powers.”

Monkey Master co-creator Devarajan is the co-founder and CEO of Graphic India. “Stan Lee was a mentor and friend who was one of the most influential creators of the 20th century,” Devarajan said in a statement.

“His characters are the modern mythologies of our time, transcending nations and culture and speaking to us in the primal language of human imagination… I am so excited to work with John Woo [and producers] Lori Tilkin and Gill Champion to honor Stan’s Monkey Master creation and bring this superhero to the screen the way he always intended.”

Credit: Graphic India

Woo is one of the most influential action filmmakers in the world. A major figure of Hong Kong cinema, Woo made his name directing films such as The Killer and Hard Boiled. Woo also had a long run in Hollywood which included blockbusters like Face/Off, Mission: Impossible II, and Paycheck, before returning to Asian cinema.

“I have always wanted to make a film based on the Monkey King story of China but have struggled with a new way to present it,” Woo said. “The story by Stan Lee was such a unique version of it that incorporated the mythological character’s unexplored journey to India and had all the elements I enjoy in filmmaking – great characters, action, and adventure.”

J. Kim Murphy is a freelance entertainment writer.

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