Viva Pictures and DIRECTV announced today that they have acquired U.S. rights to the animated feature, Monkey King: Hero is Back. Based on Wu Cheng’en’s classic novel, Journey to the West, Monkey King is a mythological character voiced by award-winning actor Jackie Chan (Rush Hour, Kung Fu Panda). The $177,000,000 international box office success will debut exclusively on DIRECTV CINEMA on May 26 followed by a theatrical release by VIVA Pictures in late July.
According to legend, the powerful Monkey King lived and roamed freely between both Heaven and Earth. Due to his rebellious nature and antics, the Gods imprisoned him in an ice cage deep within the mountains. Hundreds of years pass before monsters attack the village nearby and a child escapes to the mountains. Unwittingly, the child releases the Monkey King from his curse and the two work together to save the village from the evil monsters.
Monkey King: Hero is Back was originally released in China last year garnering rave reviews and winning the Golden Rooster for Best Animated Film. Directed and co-written by Tian Xiao Peng, the film also features the voices of James Hong (Blade Runner, Mulan) and Nika Futterman (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Boxtrolls).
“Monkey King: Hero is Back is a universal film with amazing 3D animation that families will truly enjoy,” commented Victor Elizalde, president of VIVA Pictures. “The addition of the well-known and beloved Jackie Chan as the Monkey King for American audiences takes the film to another level and we are pleased to be working with DIRECTV on another exclusive premiere.”
“’Monkey King: Hero is Back’ is filled with masterful animation and lively characters,” said Hanny Patel, vice president, Video Marketing, AT&T. “We are thrilled to work with VIVA Pictures again and deliver Tian Xiao Peng’s film one month before it hits theatres.”