If you are a wuxia series lover (like me) you would definitely know that another one of Jin Yong’s well-loved novels is getting a reboot next year. I said another one, meaning two of them are in the works. There is the much talked about ROTCH with Chen Xiao which is a part of a trilogy which are Legend of the Condor Heroes, Return of the Condor Heroes and Dragon Saber and Heavenly Sword, all of which have been adapted and retold a few times over. My personal favorite though is Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils 天龙八部. A bad-ass, expansive, emotionally gripping series, it’ll take you on a roller coaster ride. I have seen the 2003 version with Hu Jun, Jimmy Lin, Gao Hu and Liu Yi Fei which became partly responsible for my wuxia love affair. So I was jumping up and down when I heard news of its remake early this year. I was even more happy that the amazing Wallace Chung will be headlining it. I think he’s perfect for the role of Beggar Sect leader Qiao Feng. The other two pivotal characters are Shaolin Monk Xu Zhu who will be played by Han Dong and Dali Prince Duan Yu will be played by Korean actor Kim Kibum. My initial reaction to the latter’s casting was unpleasant, however Lemon Zhang Meng who’s playing Wang Yu Yan is a pint size cutie, so I thought they would be a good match.
In the 2003 version, Duan Yu‘s 3 sisters fell in love with him because they didn’t know that they were siblings at first and he ended up with Wang Yu Yan. Even Shaolin Monk Xu Zhu got his happy ending but Qiao Feng did not. His first love A Zhu (Liu Tao) died helping him while younger sister A Zi (Chen Hao) who’s in love with him, died for him. Remember that part when they jumped off the cliff? Well, technically he jumped with her in his arms. Sigh. This new version however is based on the third revision of the novel so we will definitely see a few changes here and there. I’m not a spoilsport so I won’t spoil the fun.
Regarding the trailer. One thought. Spectacular. The special effects are tastefully made and not overly done like those RPG ones that are coming out next year. Gotta hand it to the production team.