Christopher Young and The Monkey King
December 22, 2022
Christopher Young’s OOP Score to THE MONKEY KING Now Available Digitally
Tribeca Tunes has released a digital version of the soundtrack album for the 2014 Chinese fantasy adventure THE MONKEY KING: HAVOC IN HEAVEN’S PLACE (aka simply THE MONKEY KING) directed by Soi Cheang and starring Aaron Kwok, Chow Yun-Fat, Peter Ho, Kelly Chen and Joe Chen. This is one of two Chinese Monkey King films that were scored by Christopher Young (SPIDER-MAN 3, HELLRAISER, DRAG ME TO HELL, THE GRUDGE, PET SEMATARY remake, ECHO 3, THE OFFERING).
The film is based on an episode of the 16th Century Chinese literary classic, Journey to the West, written in the Ming Dynasty by Wu Cheng’en. It tells of Sun Wukong (The Monkey King), a monkey that is born from a heavenly stone who acquires supernatural powers and must battle the armies of both gods and demons to find his place in the heavens. This much beloved story is as much a part of Asian culture as The Iliad and The Odyssey or The Wizard of Oz are to the West. This first installment in a trilogy of live action 3-D movies [Young did not score the third film] is actually a prequel to The Journey To The West, the much told story of the Monkey King’s adventures on the road to India. It is the origin story of The Monkey King – beginning with the birth of Sun Wukong and ending with his imprisonment for his crimes under the Five-Peaked Mountain. Along the way he acquires incredible powers…
Cheng’en’s stories have frequently been made into films and television in China, including a 1960s Hong Kong film series produced by the Shaw Brothers Studio, several animated films produced by the Shanghai Animation Film Studio in 1960 and the 1980s, Chang Cheh’s 1975 Hong Kong adventure film, THE FANTASTIC MAGIC BABY, and many more.
The soundtrack is available to stream/download on Amazon, and other major digital music services. In 2015, Intrada released a CD version of Young’s score as well as the composer’s music from the 2016 sequel.
For further details on the score, see my in-depth interview with Christopher Young about scoring the two MONKEY KING films here.
– via filmmusicreporter (<sample a track from the score at that link) and other sources.
Watch the film’s trailer (in Mandarin with English subtitles):