"Journey to the West" actually going west
American entertainment company AMC is planning to do a TV series based on the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West.” However, not many people in China are too thrilled at the idea of a cultural treasure being turned into a TV show in the US.
The AMC series, titled “Badlands, ” will hit screens either by late 2015 or early 2016. The plot is based on the trials and tribulations of a warrior and a boy who embark on a journey to a mythical paradise.
According to the Beijing Youth Daily, Chinese stars Stephen Fung and Daniel Wu will join the production team.
Despite their presence, folks on social media in China are skeptical about the project. They fear that the essential message of the classic will end up being misinterpreted.
"The interpretation of Chinese cultural essence will be changed in other countries. Therefore, ‘Journey to the West’ which is both timeless and classic in China, cannot be handled by any other country. " @Baqisuperjiang
However, there are others who contend that AMC’s interest in adapting the Chinese classic is a measure of China’s growing soft power.
"I grew up with "Journey to the West” and “A Dream of Red Mansions”, every version has its memorable characters… The U.S remake of “Journey to the West” will at least bring the Chinese art treasure to the world. I think what it brings will only be benefits. Many different viewpoints create a beautiful world. ” @kuankuanqingge
"I think that for certain classics, only a specific language can express its true charm and convey its true essence. As a literary classic in Chinese people’s minds, is "Journey to the West" really suitable for an English adaptation? Although we do need some way to bring Chinese classical culture to the world. " @NewZealand_Zhao Jiamin
"Journey to the West", written by Wu Cheng’en in the 16th century, narrates the story of the legendary pilgrimage of a monk and his disciples to India in search of sacred Buddhist texts.
The novel has been adapted on multiple occasions into TV shows and movies in China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and the US.