June 8, 2012

Warner Bros. Developing 'TEMPLE OF THE HEAVENS' Based On Chinese Mythology

Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is developing another promising project titled Temple of Heaven which will be influenced on Chinese mythology. It's hard to see why this isn't a brilliant idea considering a majority of the Western fairy and fantasy tales are all now in-development or have already been made. There are so many legendary myths and tales from China that they could be using for this film. They've tapped Chad St. John (Motor City) to write an outline and could end up writing the script.

The most famous of these myths being Monkey or the Monkey King depending on the story he's usually depicted as a mischievous but heroic figure. Journey To The West being the most well-known of his tales which included a steady stream of Chinese fantasy creatures and lovable characters. The creators of The Gorillaz actually put together a musical stage production of Journey To The West which was beyond stunning. The Forbidden Kingdom was a loose western adaption of the Monkey story which had Jet Li in the role. That film was sort of successful mainly because it also infused classic Kung Fu film mythology as well.

Writer/director Guillermo del Toro (Blade 2, Hellboy 1-2) had been linked for a three-part Journey To The West film which Neil Gamien had been hired to write. After the final Hobbit being released in 2012 WB will have to find their next massive fantasy franchise. Journey could be perfect to fill that gap, making the leap that del Toro (who was going to direct The Hobbit) making them isn't a big one. Guillermo is finishing up work on Pacific Rim for the studio and seemingly left the Hobbit on good terms. The only issue at this point the project would need $300 million to produce and Warners isn't picked it up. James Cameron would be the project's 3D consultant which should peak massive interest.

Temple of Heaven could be just a reworking in general similar to what we've seen with Kung Fu Panda as an original property but taking influence from multiple Asian sources. Universal's 47 Ronin is rumored to be more supernatural than the traditional story and could infuse the vast Japanese lore as well. I could see Temple using a similar method to have more human looking characters than what we would see in a Journey To The West film.

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