Production is underway in New Zealand on the major new live-action series The Legend of Monkey, which will premiere on ABC, TVNZ and on Netflix next year.
Inspired by the much-remade Chinese fable Journey to the West, the 10-part half-hour series follows a teenage girl and a trio of fallen gods on a perilous journey as they attempt to bring an end to a demonic reign of chaos and restore balance to their world.
The talented and diverse young cast includes Chai Hansen (Mako Mermaids, The 100) as Monkey. GCM’s Luciane Buchanan (Filthy Rich, Baby Mama’s Club, Blue Rose) plays Tripitaka, with Josh Thomson (Terry Teo, 7 Days, Gary of the Pacific) as Pigsy and Aussie actress Emilie Cocquerel (Lion, An Accidental Soldier) as Sandy.
The series is being filmed in and around Auckland.
The Legend of Monkey is being produced for ABC, TVNZ and Netflix by See-Saw Films together with Jump Film & TV. Ex-pat Rachel Gardner will produce for See Saw. Robin Scholes, for Jump Film & TV, said, “The production values on screen for cinematography, design, costume, and make up, are breathtaking as are the performances of a largely New Zealand cast.”
The series is an official New Zealand/Australia co-production with principal investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW, Fulcrum Media Finance and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.
Gerard Johnstone (Housebound, The Jaquie Brown Diaries) is the lead director and has worked closely with head writer Jacquelin Perske (Seven Types of Ambiguity, Spirited, Will).
Andy Yeatman, director of global kids content at Netflix said, “We’re thrilled to distribute this world-class local production to young audiences around the world. The legendary Monkey King and his epic journey have mesmerised fans for ages. We’re delighted the creative team at See-Saw Films and Jump Film & TV are bringing this reimagining to life.”
The Legend of Monkey will air on ABC, TVNZ and on Netflix around the world in 2018.