Stephen Chow's latest box office offering, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, is slated by the Chinese press to rake in billions of yuan by the time its run is over. However one thing is still causing problems for Chow: the allegations that his movie stole assets from a video game.
Chow, the director, who has acted in gems like Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer, is seen like something of a comedy god in China. He's been given the honorific of "ye 爷," which is often given to elders or people of high esteem such as nobles. Last week we reported that various Chinese press spotted scenes in Chow's Journey which had ripped off Capcom's Asura's Wrath.
A Mr. Wei speaking on behalf of Chow's camp came out and said, "The plagiarizing has nothing to do with Chow and our people, the special effects and everything regarding the graphics were done by the effects company, please direct your questions towards them."
Wei's comments seem to skirt the issue of whether Chow was involved at all, but Tencent was quick on the uptake. They report that in a previous interview with the co-director of the movie, Derek Kwok, Kwok said that the duo has seen Asura's Wrath and that they're "fans of animation, so long as the animation is good, we are fine."
Kwok's comments seem to contradict what's coming from of Chow's people. In that same interview, Kwok also made a point about how Chow couldn't have been implicated in any wrongdoing, going so far as saying "Chow is a busy person."
Kotaku has reached out to both Capcom and Chow. Capcom has declined to comment and Chow's camp has not returned a comment at all.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.