Stephen Chow makes movie comeback in early 2013

Top Asian actor-turned-director Stephen Chow will direct five films over the next seven years in a new deal with ChinaVision media group, beginning with the newest movie directed by Chow, an adaptation of the Chinese classic Journey to the West, announced ChinaVision this week.

The Chinese-language movie titled Chu Mo Chuan Qi, translated as "Slayer Legend," is expected to be released during the Lunar New Year in February 2013. The film release will mark the on-screen return of the Hong Kong-born star, who last appeared in front of the camera in 2008 in CJ7, which he also directed.

Hong Kong-born Chow hailed as the king of comedy in Asia and has a successful career marked by a string of box-office hits including Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle.

His newest movie, reportedly in post-production, is a spiritual adventure movie and is expected to feature Chow’s signature ‘wu li tou’ slapstick humour. The film will co-star other top Asian actors including Shu Qi and Show Luo.

This film is the second movie version of Journey to the West starring Chow, who played the Monkey God in the 1994 production, also known as A Chinese Odyssey.

Journey to the West is popular fodder for Chinese film directors and has seen numerous adaptations on television and in movies. Published in 1592 by Chinese writer Wu Ch’eng-en, the novel is a fictionalized account of the pilgrimage of a seventh-century monk, Xuan Zhang, who has to travel to India to bring Buddhist scriptures back to China for translation. As the journey is fraught with danger, the monk is assigned the protection of three bodyguards, including the Monkey King god.