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The New Legends Of Monkey Season 3 Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

Journey to the West rivals the King Arthur legend as one of the most adapted stories in literature. 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 Dragonball. 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 show have already come out, and fans are gleefully anticipating a third.

The New Legends of Monkey is 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 English syndication for years afterward. It 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.

When can we expect a season 3?

According to Variety, The New Legends of Monkey shoots primarily in New Zealand, where the COVID-19 outbreak has been almost entirely contained for some time. Production has resumed in the country, as discussed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt on April 13, 2021's 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. So the Monkey crew should be able to begin production as soon as the three networks in charge of the show give the go ahead. 

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.

Who's in the cast of Monkey season 3?

The New Legends of Monkey stars Luciane Buchanan as Tripitaka, a woman cross-dressing as a monk. Buchanan starred in the New Zealand dramady 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.

The plot of 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 Thor: Ragnarok's Rachel House, 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. Dude still has a lot of story to tell.