A beloved hero from Chinese legend is getting a modern makeover -- one that looks an awful lot like Iron Man.
Armored Warfare God: Sun Wukong will debut on Tuesday in China, a modern adaptation of the 16th century Chinese classic Journey to the West following the story of the Monkey King, Sun Wukong as he makes his way through the worlds of heaven and hell. In the folklore -- and this is just the most basic of summary -- Sun Wukong is quite literally a monkey born from a stone who acquires supernatural powers through Taoist practices. However, Armored Warfare God's take is giving the classic story a makeover for modern audiences, giving the hero a high-tech armored suit that, despite the monkey motif, looks an awful lot like Iron Man's armor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And by a lot we mean a lot. As you can see in the trailer above, there are quite a few similar visuals to Iron Man in addition to the armor, including midair battles, what appear to be some form of repulsor blasts, a helpful Jarvis-like AI, and even a heads-up display that can only be described as very Tony Stark-esque. There's also a scene where Sun Wukong's armor literally flies into an abandoned warehouse of sorts and assembles itself on his body a la Iron Man 3 while near the end of the trailer the hero's love interest appears to be threatened by the film's villain -- only for her skin to light up with what one can only assume are newfound powers not unlike Pepper Pott's being transformed by Extremis in Iron Man 3.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Tell that to Chinese Iron Man and Marvel Cinematic Universe fans. As noted by Kotaku, many fans flooded Chinese microblogging site Weibo with harsh critiques of the film, with most of them calling the filmmakers out for what they consider to be a "shameful" rip off of Iron Man himself.
"I have only one question... Isn't that shameful?" Abacus News quoted one Weibo comment as saying while another was upset about the film's proximity to the recently-released Avengers: Endgame trailer showing Tony Stark drifting in space with his oxygen about to run out.
"This makes me want to swear," that post read. "I mean Tony is still trapped in space."
Despite the marked similarities, the production team behind the film list Iron Man as only one of the inspirations for the movie. In addition to the Marvel hero, they claim to have also been inspired by Transformers as well as the Japanese franchise, Gundam. A behind-the-scenes video -- also via Abacus News -- explained that the film was aiming to present a "Chinese-made smart armor".
"We can make armored heroes that belong to China," the video is quoted as saying. "No matter how difficult the process is, we'll carry with us our childhood dreams, presenting to the world a Chinese-made smart armor."7comments
Armored Warfare God: Sun Wukong debuts in China on Tuesday.
What do you think about the similarities between Sun Wukong and Iron Man? Let us know in the comments below.