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Netflix’s action-packed take on the legend of the Monkey King looks bananas

Starring Jimmy O. Yang and Bowen Yang

Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

The newest Netflix animated movie is an action adventure based on a famous figure from Chinese literature: the Monkey King, a character whose story has been told many times (and also was the inspiration for Dragon Ball’s Goku).

In Netflix’s version, he’s played by Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley, Love Hard) and is on a quest to prove to the Immortals that he is worthy of joining them by slaying 100 demons. He goes up against a powerful Dragon King, but according to Netflix’s plot summary, the greatest foe he will face is his own enormous ego. The Monkey King comes from Anthony Stacchi, director of The Boxtrolls, and is written by Ron J. Friedman and Stephen Bencich (Chicken Little) and Rita Hsaio (Mulan).

Bowen Yang (Fire Island) joins as the Dragon King, with BD Wong (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Jolie Hoang-Rappaport (Watchmen), and Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once) rounding out the cast. The movie dives into Chinese mythology and features a lot of legendary figures with new twists, like the Red Girl demon and the Jade Emperor. The first trailer shows all of the action — along with the Monkey King’s trusty sidekick, Stick (who is, as its name implies, a stick).

The Monkey King hits Netflix on August 18.

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