It seems the nature of Monkey really is "...irrepressible!"
The late '70s cult classic Japanese TV show is back, baby! Monkey is getting a remake as 10 half-hour episodes on Netflix.
According to the ABC, production is underway on the rebooted version of the kung-fu heavy show, called The Legend of Monkey, in New Zealand. The new version is slated to run on Australia and New Zealand's public broadcasters too.
For the uninitiated, Monkey was based on the Chinese novel, Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en. Although the generation of Australian kids who watched the Buddha-quoting, BBC-dubbed show weeknightly (and for three hours on Saturdays) weren't aware of that. They just saw a dude that could command clouds and kick arse.
For them, the appeal was all about the hammed-up acting, kitsch special effects and sick martial arts moves that were easy to DIY at home. Just grab the nearest stick and start threatening your siblings into a duel, kids!
Fun fact: Monkey was not only translated into English. It also got Spanish and Zulu versions. Yep. It reached well beyond Asia — being screened in Europe, Africa and South America, as well as Down Under.
Instead of Japanese actors like the '70s version, the reboot features a cast of Australian and Kiwi talent of mixed heritage, including comedian Josh Thomson as Pigsy (whose original incarnation was a borderline sex pest TBH) and Thai-Australian actor Chai Hansen as Monkey.
— Wenlei Ma (@WenleiMa) April 20, 2017
Reactions to the news are mixed. Fans are either excited, annoyed that literally everything needs to be remade, or dismayed that the series doesn't feature a more diverse cast of East Asian-Australian talent.
— Mike Hauser (@Hauser_Mike) April 20, 2017
So uhhh the Monkey Magic remake appears to not have any Asian actors in the main cast???
— Chris O'Regan (@chrisjoregan) April 20, 2017
& I just heard they're remaking Monkey Magic. Is nothing sacred?
— AJ (@ajsmith2369) April 20, 2017
— Kristo (@crwright78) April 20, 2017
We'll have to wait and see if the reboot is as ~magic~ as the original. Who knows, maybe we'll have another 20 years of daily Monkey repeats ahead of us?