Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of the 10-part series, The New Legends of Monkey, on Netflix! As executive producer of the series, what inspired you to bring this concept to the screen?
Hakan Kousetta and Jamie Laurenson: Thank you. As parents of young children, we wanted to make a show that our daughters and sons would enjoy – something that had thrills and spills and some good laughs along the way. We wanted also to try to tell a fantasy story that also had something to say to kids about how to be yourself in the world that can throw so many challenges and obstacles in your direction.
BD: You have quite a talented cast and crew working on the production! What can you share with us regarding the production process of the episodes, from initial casting to post-production?
HK and JL: Gerard Johnson who directed the opening episodes and set the tone for the series always had a clear desire to make a show that paid tribute to some of the great kid’s films and shows of the '80s and '90s – that thought process shaped many of our decisions in production from finding a young and athletically talented cast of diverse actors, to costume, color, music, and fight choreography.
BD: What do you hope that viewers will take away from The New Legends of Monkey?
HK and JL: That they have fun and maybe remember to look out for their mates. But mainly that they have fun.
BD: What makes Netflix the perfect home for the series, and do you have plans to expand the series into further seasons?
HK and JL: No one other than Netflix would have supported making a show with this ambition for a family audience. If the world wants more of Tripitaka, Monkey, Pigsy, and Sandy, we’ve got lots of stories we’d love to share.
BD: Are there any other upcoming films or projects that you would care to share with our readers?
HK and JL: We have nothing else like TNLOM on our slate, but we’re working on a number of very different show, a comedy with with Nick Hornby, and an enthralling period drama with Andrew Haigh.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about The New Legends of Monkey?
HK and JL: TNLOM is inspired by a 16th-century Chinese story called "The Journey to the West;" it’s a story that has been retold in many forms and languages, but the original book is a great place to go if you want to know what the inspiration was for our characters.