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The New Legends Of Monkey Season 3 - Will It Ever Happen?

"Journey to the West" rivals the King Arthur legend as one of the most adapted stories of all time. The 16th century Chinese story is one of the "Four Great Classic Novels of Chinese Literature" and has inspired everything from cheesy '80s dubs to the "Dragon Ball" franchise. The latest adaptation of this classic story is "The New Legends of Monkey," an Australian/New Zealand/Netflix production. Two seasons of the family-friendly adventure series have already been released, and fans gleefully anticipate a third.

"The New Legends of Monkey" is also a loose adaptation of the classic '70s/'80s Japanese show, known in the West as "Monkey Magic," or sometimes simply as "Monkey." It's notorious for its corny dubbing, which ironically led to it becoming a cult hit in the English-speaking world, per The Telegraph. "Monkey" ran for two seasons in Japan, then re-ran in syndication in predominantly English markets for years afterward. It even was name-checked in "Spaced," the TV show which first saw Edgar Wright team up with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. "The New Legends of Monkey" is set to potentially outlast the show that inspired it. Although a third season has yet to be announced, Season 2 ended on a cliffhanger. That indicates that at least creative staff have faith the show will be renewed. Here's everything we can expect from a Season 3 of "The New Legends of Monkey" — if and when it ever arrives.

Why isn't The New Legends of Monkey Season 3 happening yet?

Seasons 1 and 2 of "The New Legends of Monkey" shot primarily in New Zealand, where the COVID-19 outbreak has been almost entirely contained for some time. Film and television production resumed relatively quickly in the country, as discussed on the April 13, 2021 episode of "The Tonight Show." While other shows have had to postpone productions, "The New Legends of Monkey" can bask in the glow of national health. This means that the "Monkey" crew could have ramped up production on Season 3 as soon as the three networks in charge of the show give the official go-ahead. To get three different entities on board is a complicated and timely endeavor, however, particularly during a pandemic. And any momentum could also have come to a halt due to the ongoing Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild strikes of 2023.

"Monkey" is a co-venture by Australia's ABC, New Zealand's TVNZ 2, and Netflix. Netflix is known for hastily giving shows the ax, even when storylines aren't wrapped up. However, the international appeal of "The New Legends of Monkey" is a big check in the show's favor. Per The Verge, Netflix is always looking toward global expansion, so any show with an international audience has a good shot at renewal.

What could be explored in The New Legends of Monkey Season 3?

"The New Legends of Monkey" tells the story of Tripitaka, a girl posing as a monk who is trying to free her homeland of demon rule. She frees Monkey from where he's been sealed away for hundreds of years, and the two join forces with two more gods to defeat the hordes of demons ruling Jade Mountain. Season 2 of "The New Legends of Monkey" ended with both Monkey and the Demon Queen Hakuru being reborn. Monkey had killed Hakuru centuries before the show began, but she was reborn into the body of innkeeper Monica. Played by Rachel House of "Thor Ragnarok," Demon Queen Hakuru/Monica is set to be Season 3's major antagonist.

The plot of "The New Legends of Monkey" is loosely adapted from "Journey to the West,"a novel about the many adventures of Tripitaka, Pigsy, Sandy, and the Monkey King. The novel ends with the four reaching India, where they study Buddhism with the eventual plan of bringing it back to China. Aspects of the novel have been spread over the two extant seasons, but there's a reason the Monkey King is the breakout character in "Journey to the West." And that character still has a lot of story to tell. 

Who would star in The New Legends of Monkey Season 3?

Presumably, the core cast of the series' first two seasons would return for a third go-around. "The New Legends of Monkey" stars Luciane Buchanan as Tripitaka, a woman hiding out by dressing as a monk. Buchanan starred in the New Zealand dramedy "Filthy Rich" before joining the "Monkey" cast. Tripitaka is escorted by two gods — Josh Thomson as boorish pig god Pigsy and Emilie Cocquerel as Sandy — as well as the titular Monkey King, played by Chai Hansen. Thomson is primarily known as a comedian in New Zealand, working as a panelist on "The Project." Cocquerel played Queen Alianor on the Dutch-British Netflix co-production "The Letter for the King."

Chai Hansen may be familiar to American audiences as Ilian on "The 100." Ilian was a Grounder that killed his entire family when rogue AI A.L.I.E. commanded him to via an ingested microchip. He appeared as Octavia Blake's foe-turned-love-interest in Season 4. Hansen also appeared on season 3 of "Shadowhunters," as werewolf Jordan Kyle. Before that, he starred in "Mako Mermaids," a spinoff of "H20: Just Add Water," for Australian Nickelodeon.

Where to watch previous seasons of The New Legends of Monkey

A show with global reach and popularity, thanks to the enduring fan devotion of the Japanese show and inspiration "Monkey," "The New Legends of Monkey" is also the result of a collaboration between international entities. Australia's ABC television broadcast network, New Zealand's TVNZ 2, and U.S.-based streaming company Netflix all helped bring the first two seasons of the series to TV screens around the globe. Marketed as a Netflix original in North America, "The New Legends of Monkey" — both Season 1 and Season 2 — is available with a subscription to the streaming platform, in both its "Basic" and costlier tiers. And while the show was made in association with terrestrial TV networks, "The New Legends of Monkey" is nevertheless a streaming-only series in Australia. Both Season 1 and Season 2 are available locally on Netflix, while TVNZ 2 debuted the series on its platforms in New Zealand.