US network to produce Chinese-inspired drama series
Updated: 2014-07-14 10:17
Poster of The Lost Empire. [Photo/imbc.com]
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This is not the first time that US showbiz has taken interest in Journey. In 2001, American film The Lost Empire took inspirations from the Chinese classic. The script was so different from the original story that some netizens called the change "worse than that in 'A Chinese Odyssey' (a remake of Journey by Stephen Chow that's known for its absurdity in screenwriting.)"
From Disney's Mulan to AMC's reproduction this time around, Chinese elements have increasingly gathered interests of US film and television producers. However, the cultural differences between the two countries and how they are to be expressed in the scripts remain an unavoidable topic of discussion.
Internet user "Zhengshu-1024" says "AMC's slow paced series may play out well for the reproduction of Journey to the West, but personal heroism that's commonly expressed in Western works is also inescapable. Eastern philosophy has always been a pain for Western writers."
The news has also generated buzz on Sina Weibo. As of 11:00 today, the topic "US version of Journey to the West" has been read by more than 2 million users, with 4,660 participating in discussions.
The original series of Journey to the West aired in China in 1986. Since then, it has been remade domestically for at least 8 times, some versions deviating heavily from the original story.
Aside from Journey, different versions of other Chinese classic literature such as A Dream of Red Mansions and Three Kingdoms has also been remade, causing a "chaos" in the television industry.
In 2011, State Administration of Radio, Film and Television issued a ban on remake of the four classics Chinese literature (Journey to the West, A Dream of Red Mansions, Three Kingdoms and The Water Margin), and the ban is still effective in China today.