Monkey remake in the works
A remake of the 70s and 80s television classic Monkey will be made in New Zealand.
Called The Legend of Monkey, the show is a New Zealand-Australia co-production.
It has two Kiwis in lead roles: Terry Teo's Josh Thompson, and Luciane Buchanan from Filthy Rich.
Based on the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West, the series follows a teenage monk and a trio of fallen gods on a perilous journey as they attempt to bring an end to a demonic reign of chaos.
Thompson plays Pigsy, a pig monster consumed with lust and gluttony who was cast out of heaven for harassing another goddess.
Buchanan plays Tripitaka, a male monk who enlists Thompson's character along with two other gods to help him fetch holy scriptures.
The titular god Monkey will be played by Thai-Australian actor Chai Hansen, while the third member of the travelling party, sea monster Sandy, will be played by Emilie Cocquerel.
The series will be filmed at locations around Auckland, as well as at purpose-built sets where the magical fantasy world can be brought to life. It's set to air in 2018.
The series' main writer is Australian Jacquelin Perske, while Kiwi Gerard Johnstone (Housebound, Terry Teo) is the lead director.
It's a Kiwi-Australian co-production, with funding from Screen Australia and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.
The series will screen on Netflix, TVNZ and Australian network ABC.
The Legend of Monkey is based on the Japanese series Monkey, which was filmed from 1978 to 1980. An overdubbed version screened in many Western countries, including New Zealand, where it has become a cult classic.
Journey to the West was also the source material for hit Japanese cartoon Dragonball Z.