Screen Talk: Monkey magic

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The Independent Culture

The English author Neil Gaiman has signed to pen English scripts for a big-budget series of 3D movies based on Journey to the West, China's classic novel about the adventures of the Monkey King.

Gaiman joins one of China's most prominent TV producers, Zhang Jizhong, for his long-planned big-screen trilogy. Gaiman has been arguing with Zhang over which plotlines from the complex 2,000-page story to keep for the film series the producer boasted would cost about $300m to make. Hollywood is following the developments closely.

Bad blood

Quentin Tarantino is suing his neighbour, True Blood creator Alan Ball, because noise is preventing the Pulp Fiction film-maker from writing. The source of the noise? Ball's macaws. Tarantino is claiming in a lawsuit filed in LA County Superior Court, that the "obnoxious pterodactyl-like screams" coming from Ball's "exotic bird menagerie" have "seriously disrupted [his] ability to work as a writer in his home." He adds that he's also tried to resolve the matter with Ball – who also created Six Feet Under and won an Oscar for writing American Beauty – to no avail.

Capital offence

One of life's great unwritten rules is when someone contributes to a web forum using CAPITAL letters, they are probably to be avoided or discounted as stark, raving mad. Heads turned when one such web head took the time to respond to the news that action comic book Crosshair is being touted around Hollywood as a movie. The comic centres on a former CIA assassin-turned-suburban dad who must race against the clock to stop a chip inside his brain from turning him into an unstoppable killing machine whose target is the US president. So far, so Hollywood. But the prospects ignited a web frenzy with one internet trawler shouting in capitals that the project, or "unnecessary propaganda" as the gentleman in question called it, is "ludicriss" [sic] because everyone knows CIA employees are "trained to kill enemy combatants", and not their own executive officer "whom we're sworn to protect."