Stan Lee has added another India-inspired project to his plate, announcing Wednesday that Monkey Master will be a co-production between India and China.
The live-action film is backed by China's Shinework Pictures, Lee's POW! Entertainment and Graphic India, with which the comic legend has had a long-running relationship. India's Cinema Capital Advisory will co-produce the project.
Shinework's projects include the upcoming Jackie Chan-starrer Kung-Fu Yoga, directed by Stanley Tong, which was partly filmed in India.
Lee's first India-inspired effort was the superhero project Chakra, created with Graphic India. The character entertainment company is backed by Peter Chernin's CA Media. After launching as a TV series, Chakra is now in production as a Bollywood live-action feature to be directed by Vikramaditya Motwane.
"I have always been fascinated by the Chinese and Indian cultures, which are so philosophical and rich in tradition and morality," Lee said. "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 Chinese and Indian myth to create a hero that will entertain fans across the world with his martial-arts skills and unstoppable superpowers."
"We are excited to announce this partnership to leverage Stan Lee's experience creating some of the worlds most popular superhero characters to create an epic Chinese superhero film that will not only appeal to China but also globally to international markets," said Shinework Pictures founder and CEO Jonathan Shen.
The project is expected to include an international star cast featuring talent from India and China.
POW! Entertainment CEO Gill Champion added that Monkey Master "will not only capture the hearts and minds of Chinese and Indian audiences, but will also have a mass worldwide appeal as a classic superhero adventure."
Graphic India co-founder and CEO Sharad Devarajan said that "the story will take place between ancient and modern-day China and India as the myth of monkey warriors, known to both cultures, come together in the creation of a modern-day superhero."
Devarajan also told THR that the "goal is to create a film with global appeal after first tapping the vast markets of China and India."
Shinework's producing team will include Shen, Iris Wang, and Daljit DJ Parmar. Champion will be a producer on the film with Lee, while Devarajan and Gupta are attached as executive producers.