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James Cameron and Neil Gaiman to work on Journey to the West

Blockbuster director extraordinaire James Cameron and award-winning novelist and screenwriter Neil Gaiman will be contributing their considerable talents to Journey to the West , reports Variety.

The adaptation of the ancient Chinese folk tale is being produced by Zhang Jizhong, who hopes the project will have huge crossover potential.

James Cameron will offer his knowledge on technological issues, particularly 3D, and he'll also be advising on the script.

At a press conference in Beijing, Zhang said: "I'm looking forward to the treatment, but as James Cameron told me, I need to be patient.

"I work in TV usually, so I'm used to things happening quickly. I need to focus on the script and make sure it's a good story."

Stardust and Coraline novelist Neil Gaiman will be writing the script, and the movie will be shot in English. The production will be based in China to take advantage of cost benefits though, with Zhang adding: "One million dollars is worth twice that if you shoot here."

The folk tale concerns the Monkey King, who travels to India with a diverse group of companions (including a monk and a pig spirit) on a mission to retrieve the Buddha's scrolls.

Tantalising, there's even the possibility that unluckiest director of the decade Guillermo del Toro could possibly direct, with Zhang saying: "He has shown a lot of interest but he wants to see the treatment first.

"Obviously the more celebrated the director, the busier they are."

If all these elements do come together, Zhang could have something very special on his hands. He's intending to tell the story as a trilogy, with each movie costing $100 million.

Combining the imagination of Gaiman with the technical nous of Cameron could be a masterstroke, and if GDT comes on board that would be the icing on the cake.

Topics

Total Film

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