An unreleased Stan Lee comic is headed to the screen: Variety reports that John Woo is producing a film adaptation of Monkey Master, a series created by Lee and Graphic India co-founder and CEO Sharad Devarajan. Monkey Master is a “loose riff” on the tale of the Monkey King, a character in the oft-adapted classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. It tells the story of an archeologist named Li Yong, whose discovery of an ancient prophecy about the Monkey King leads him across the world and transforms him into a superhero.
According to Variety, Lee discussed the story in 2016, not long after it was written, saying, “I have always been fascinated by the Chinese and Indian cultures, which are so philosophical and rich in tradition and morality. I’ve written countless superheroes of every nationality and every part of the world before, I’ve even created many heroes from other planets and galaxies, but Monkey Master will be unique in how it interweaves myth to create a modern day hero that will entertain fans across the world with his martial arts skills and unstoppable superpowers.”
Lee and Devarajan’s previous comics collaboration, the Indian superhero tale Chakra: The Invincible, was adapted into three films.
In a statement, Woo said he’s always wanted to make a Monkey King film. He’s not currently attached to direct Monkey Master, but that could change. He’ll co-produce Monkey Master with Devarajan; Lee’s longtime business partner Gill Champion of POW! Entertainment; and Lori Tilkin, of Woo’s A Better Tomorrow Films.