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DirecTV Cinema to Debut Jackie Chan Animation Before Theaters

DirecTV and Viva Pictures will release the Jackie Chan animated movie Monkey King: Hero is Back on DirecTV Cinema, before the film gets a wide theatrical release in the U.S., the companies announced.

The film is based on Wu Cheng’en’s novel Journey to the West, and features a mythological character voiced by Chan (Rush Hour, Kung Fu Panda).  The film will debut on DirecTV Cinema May 26, with Viva putting it in theaters in late July.

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Monkey King: Hero is Back is a universal film with amazing 3D animation that families will truly enjoy,” said Victor Elizalde, president of Viva Pictures.  “The addition of the well-known and beloved Jackie Chan as the Monkey King for American audiences takes the film to another level and we are pleased to be working with DirecTV on another exclusive premiere.”

First released in China last year, the film is directed and co-written by Tian Xiao Peng, and also features the voices of James Hong (Blade Runner, Mulan) and Nika Futterman (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Boxtrolls). The film has pulled in $177 million at the box office to date.

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“’Monkey King: Hero is Back’ is filled with masterful animation and lively characters,” said Hanny Patel, VP of video marketing for AT&T. “We are thrilled to work with Viva Pictures again and deliver Tian Xiao Peng’s film one month before it hits theatres.”

Viva and DirecTV partnered up last year to release the horror film Exeter on DirecTV Cinema before freeing it up for a theatrical release.