Big-Budget Adventure Bound for TVNZ and Netflix

Netflix has picked up the international rights for a big-budget fantasy series being made in Auckland that will screen here first on TVNZ.

The Legend of Monkey is a live-action show that will premiere globally next year.

Inspired by the 16th Century Chinese fable Journey to the West, the 10-part half hour series follows a teenage girl and a trio of fallen gods as they try to end a demonic reign of chaos and restore balance to their world.

The cast includes Chai Hansen (Mako Mermaids, The 100), Luciane Buchanan (Filthy Rich, Blue Rose), Josh Thomson (Terry Teo, 7 Days,The Project) and Emilie Cocquerel (Lion, An Accidental Soldier).

The Legend of Monkey is being produced for TVNZ, ABC and Netflix by the Oscar and Emmy-winning production company See-Saw Films and Jump Film & TV.

The Legend of Monkey is a big-budget fantasy drama series that will surprise and delight family viewers globally and locally,” Andrew Shaw, TVNZ’s GM of Acquisitions, Commissioning and Production, predicts.

“We’re a business built on highly original content and this ticks all the boxes: it’s a tremendous tale, visually imaginative and made by talented people. Kids are going to love it.”

The series is an official New Zealand/Australian co-production with principal investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW, Fulcrum Media Finance and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.

Head writer is Jacquelin Perske (Seven Types of Ambiguity, Spirited, Will) with Craig Irvin (Nowhere Boys) and Samantha Strauss (Dance Academy) providing additional writing.

Gerard Johnstone (Housebound, The Jaquie Brown Diaries) is the lead director, with Irvin directing some episodes as well.

“Jacquelin has adapted this classic literary work in such a way as to create an original fantasy world that is occupied by charismatic and interesting characters that will entertain all ages,” Rachel Gardner, of See-Saw Films, says.

“Brought to life by the vision of Gerard, the story and setting will not be like anything we’ve seen before.”

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