Upcoming Drama/Series

Andy Chen Yi as the Legendary Flower Boy Gao Changgong aka Lan Ling Wang

andy-chen

Although he may not have the bravado nor the acting chops of or lack thereof of Feng Shao Feng, I do think that he fits the role much better aesthetically. He IS a “flower boy” and looking at the stills, you could actually understand why he had to cover that pretty face. Unlike FSF, who looks rather manly than delicate.

You could tell he looks good even with the mask on

You could tell he looks good even with the mask on

I remember the scene where Lan Ling Wang and Xue Wu met for the first time while he was taking a bath by the small lake (or was it a falls?) Xue Wu immediately took off her clothes and joined in thinking that he was a woman. I was like, seriously?! Which angle? Just because he had long hair doesn’t make him look any less than a man. It had its flaws, yes, but was still a good series especially with Ariel Lin who makes everything she does wonderful.

Check out those pecs!

Check out those pecs!

Princess of Lan Ling or what I’d like to call the younger version of Prince of Lan Ling, looks promising enough. The core is still the same, that is the love triangle among Gao Changgong-Princess of Lan Ling-Yuwen Yong. But this time, Yuwen Yong’s character takes the lead while Lan Ling Wang takes the back seat.

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Tony Yang Joins Tang Yan, Hawick Lau for “Lady and the Liar”

Official Poster

 

From the makers of the beautifully executed period series Prince of Lan Ling come another period drama starring Tang Yan, Hawick Lau, Tony Yang and Lemon Zhang called Lady and the Liar千金女贼. What is more interesting about this production is that it brings back the art director responsible for the artistic scenery in Prince of Lan Ling, Gossip Girl artistic director Charles E. MacCarry and the South Korean team responsible for the awesome special effects in Painted Skin 2. If the producers are willing to spend as much and make sure that the technical aspects are well made, this could be another sure fire hit in the making.

The story took place in the 1930’s during the Shanghai Concession, at a time when chaos gripped the land. It tells the story of Jiang Xin (Tang Yan),the daughter of the richest man in Shanghai but lost all her memories due to a shipwreck. Her life was stolen by Du Xiao han (Yang Rong) posing as Jiang Xin. Their fates are interchanged. Two men helped her regain her memories but who would she trust, the man who lied to her, Bai Zheng Qing (Hawick Lau) or the man who constantly stood by her side, Wen Sheng jie (Tony Yang).

The boot camp will start in December and is slated for release next year. It is a 45 episode period-romance directed by Zhou Xiao-peng. The team gathered for the ceremonial peace offering and prayer lead by Tang Yan and Tony minus Hawick, who was absent due to prior filming commitments. I actually wonder how they manage their schedules. All 3 of them are currently doing other projects. It will also be Hawick and Tang tang’s second time working together but I’m pretty sure that no “love angle” is necessary since everyone knows that Hawick is engaged to Tang Tang’s real life BFF Yang Mi.

 

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Upcoming Mainland Series “Princess of Lan Ling”

 

Don’t be mistaken. The series has nothing to do with Prince of Lan Ling (Feng Shao Feng, Ariel Lin) although the place where all the events transpired and the characters are one and the same. This series however is adapted from the 2009 novel with the same title by Yang Qian Zi.

Legend has it that if one possesses the Qinglun mirror, peace will be obtained. But on the wrong hands, will bring chaos. It tells the story of modern girl Yuan Qing Suo/Li Ezi (played by Zhang Han Yun) who was sworn to protect the secret of the ancestral mirror. Her journey takes her deep into the Northern Zhou kingdom at the the time of unrest and war during the Eastern Jin Dynasty. She will be caught in the political crossfire as well as love entangles with Emperor Yuwen Yong (Peng Guan Ying) of Zhou and Prince Gao Zhang Gong (Chen Yi) of Lanling.

Princess of Lan Ling 兰陵王妃 is directed by the famous Hongkong director Yi Yezhao and stars Zhang Han Yun, Peng Guan Ying and Taiwanese cutie Andy Chen.

Comparison to Prince of Lan Ling is inevitable since they have the same theme. It is also a tall order to accomplish what the previous has accomplished in terms of success.  From the cast down to production, one can safely assume that this is a modest series compared to it’s predecessor.

 

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Beautiful Country with Ruby Lin and Yuan Hong Drops Official Trailer plus Poster

The first trailer is finally out! Was that fast or what!

 

My Thoughts:

It’s good to see Ruby Lin in something other than her soft feminine roles in most of her period dramas. I don’t really see her as great actress but she’s good in this one. But I also think that she has to toughen up a bit more to convincingly portray a cross-dressing, sword wielding girl. It’s a bit too much to compare her to the likes of Shu Qi or Zhang Zi Yi. However, it’s great to see the variation in her acting skill.

Two words, YUAN HONG. I’m trying not to overpraise him but forgive my bias. I am just a girl (all right I’ll stop there). He does brooding really well and when most people would rather overact, he on the other hand, underacts. I like it when he does that. With his eyes and mannerisms telling the story. This has got to be his best so far.

Ma Tian Yu. Where did the pretty boy go? What I see here is a MAN! And the older version of him with just a little bit of stash, is surprisingly so magnetic. I never thought he could do well as a rogue.

The backdrop plus the sad, soft music does justice to this series’ title — Beautiful Country.

 

Beautiful Country official poster

Beautiful Country official poster  

 

The couple Liu Xiu and Li Hua in their matrimonial garbs. I’m guessing it’s for their second wedding. Or it could be the first (but I highly doubt that since they were pretty young and poor then) Or the third (when he’s already the emperor of  Han) They will be married thrice after all.

 

 

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Hu Ge, Tang Yan, Wallace Chung Considering TV Adaptation of “Lang Ya Bang”

A few days ago I’ve written about Long Ballad 秀丽江山, a popular novel which is about to hit the small screen with actress-producer Ruby Lin and Yuan Hong headlining the said series. At this point the shooting is almost about to wrap up and ready for the chopping block (board of censors)to give it a go signal for airing next year.

Shandong Television Media Group has acquired the rights to the novel Langya Bang琅琊榜, a highly popular internet novel known as the Chinese version of Count of Monte Cristo. The novel is about to get a live adaptation with two famed directors Kong Sheng and Li Xue at the helm. According to several sources, initial preparations are already under way. The script is ready, the costumes have been designed, the settings have been chosen and names of actors offered to play the lead roles are floating in the netosphere. If the rumors are to be believed, which I pray to the drama gods to be real, Hu Ge, Tang Yan and Wallace Chung might be the leads. Excited does not even come close to how I feel! I should probably start burning the midnight candle, add a little bit of incense and start chanting to make it work.

Hu Ge and Tang Yan have worked together in several projects in the past including the modern drama Unbeatable, a typical mainland workplace drama which also starred heart breaker Roy Chiu, and the RPG series Rift of the Sky 轩辕剑之天之痕, which was so ridiculously whack I laughed uncontrollably at some scenes. But it did have it’s saving grace, Yuwen Tuo’s (Hu Ge) tormented character and demoness Dugu Ningke‘s quest for redemption and love.

I have always been a big Hu Ge fan since forever. I love how he always works his chemistry with co-actors like Ariel Lin (Seven of the Sky, Legend of the Condor Heroes), Ivy Chen (Modern People), Liu Yi Fei (Chinese Paladin) among others. Oh well, save for Shangri-La which I could barely stomach despite of my love for Hu Ge. He may not be so young anymore to play Lin Shu but I have no doubt he can pull it off. Tang Yan, on the other hand, is one of my favorite mainland actress. She can be cute (Love Waking Up,The Xia Girls), kick-ass (Agent X,Storm Warriors), cunning (Chinese Paladin 3,Rift of the Sky), innocent (Gone with the Wind) and surely she portray Princess Ni Huang with aplomb. Wallace Chung, although I have only seen him in a series once, (The Magic Blade which I absolutely abhor) is a solid actor and I think he will be perfect as Jing Wang Xiao. If the three signs on they will start filming in February 2014.

 

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Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (2013) Extended Trailer

 

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.

 

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Ruby Lin, Yuan Hong Historial Drama “Long Ballad” Newest HD Stills

Long Ballad 秀丽江山 is a Ruby Lin co-produced and starred historical drama adapted from a novel by Li Xin with the same title. It tells the story of a university student named Guan Li Hua who time traveled back to two thousand years ago. She possessed the body of the teenage daughter of a wealthy family during the Han Dynasty named Yin Li Hua. A straightforward and quick witted girl. It also tells the story of Liu Xiu, an ordinary peasant boy who ascended to the highest seat of power in all of Han and became emperor. It was a time of turmoil and war but the two experienced the purity of first love only to be separated by their circumstances. But fate reunited the two of them once again and both fought side by side in their ensuing battle to restore and unite the dynasty. Amidst palace intrigues, interweaving conspiracies, and war is their love strong enough to withstand the test of time?

According to lady producer Ruby Lin the story will remain faithful to the novel except for the time travelling part. Should I be grateful for that? I guess so. I think I have enough dose of time travelling dramas or series, thank you very much! Long Ballad is in the peak of filming in Xiangshan as of this writing. It boasts of beautiful costumes and natural scenerary plus a whole batallion of men in wigs and body armors including Yuan Hong who plays Liu Xiu, Kenny Kwan (Deng Yu), Yu Bo (Liu Xuan), Zong Feng Yan (who’s a staple in historical dramas in my opinion having made a gazillion of them!) Wang Yuan Ke, Jean Li, etc.

What’s different about this upcoming drama is that Ruby Lin is not playing a heroine who uses her beauty (Schemes of a Beauty, Glamorous Imperial Concubine) but instead she’ll be a feisty, blade wielding lady ala Mulan. If the drama gods agrees, it will be released early next year.

 

Check out the gallery below.

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Michelle Chen Dons a Red Hanfu as Xiao Long Nu plus Official Poster and more BTS

Official Poster: The Condor Heroes 2014

Official Poster: The Condor Heroes 2014

I promised myself not to write anything unfavorable or otherwise about the upcoming series The Condor Heroes 2014 (Return of the Condor Heroes) but how can I when I see another eyebrow-raising BTS.

Recently, Michelle Chen shared these never before seen photos of her being Xiao Long Nu in a red hanfu. That’s right. Red. Not white but red, on her weibo. And it’s not even for a wedding. In all the adaptations, I have never seen the character in anything but white. We have all seen the previous outfits and they’re not plain white but with touches of blue and pink which I have eventually accepted as okay. Quite honestly she looks really pretty and shockingly thinner. I heard that she’s been eating nothing but greens during the whole filming just to stay in shape. Tsk..tsk..she must be having a hard time. I feel sorry for her having to go through this whole process to be an ideal Xiao Long Nu. I have nothing against her looks nor her frame. All the same, she still does not give me that steely, cold veneer that Xiao Long Nu should possess. She gives me a carefree, cutesy vibe instead.

Oh well, eventually I should start to make peace with this adaptation and whatever Yu Zheng cooks up, I should be able to scoff it down no matter the flavor. As much as I want it to stay true and pure just like the novel, that’s not for me to decide. Yet, I can still be a critic.

 

Mote stills and bts:

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Chinese Paladin 5 in the Works with Jiang Jin Fu

cp5

Fans of the RPG wuxia-fantasy series The Legend of Sword and Fairy or Chinese Paladin rejoice! Rumor has it that Chinese Paladin 5 is in the works. Can I just say, heck it’s about time! It’s been 8 long years since Chinese Paladin (2005) was released and launched the careers of then little known stars, Hu Ge, Liu Yi Fei and Ady Ahn. I still remember every detail of the series like I saw it yesterday. It can also be said that Li Xiao Yao is probably Hu Ge’s most memorable character. Now, Hu Ge is one of China’s most sought after actors, Liu Yi Fei and Ady Ahn have about 40 films and dramas between them. Even Eddie Peng who played funny Tang Yu has made a name for himself. However, I don’t know whatever happened to Ah Nu‘s Esther Liu. She’s probably around somewhere.

Chinese Paladin Official Poster

Chinese Paladin Official Poster

In 2009 Chinese Paladin 3 was released, again with Hu Ge as the lead character Jing Tian/Long Yang/Fei Pang, Yang Mi as Xue Jian, Liu Shi Shi as Long Kui and Wallace Huo and Tang Yan who played star-crossed lovers, soulmates and my favorite couple Chang Xing and Zi Xuan. This series is one of my all-time favorite. I’ve watched it so many times yet love it every single time. That’s how good it is. It’s probably because of what I can call a dream cast. We all know that Tang Yan, Shi shi and Yang Mi have become real-life BFFs after this. And I’ve become a solid Wallace-Tang Yan shipper! I still hurt recalling their “farewell scene”. Who could forget that scene? Tissue please!

Chinese Paladin 3 Official Poster

Chinese Paladin 3 Official Poster

 

Fans of the series have long campaigned for another installment and looks like that prayer is about to be answered. According to various sources, production will start around November and will star up and coming “it” guy Jiang Jin Fu as the main protagonist Jiang Yun Fan. I think Jin Fu’s career is following Hu Ge’s career path just like Chen Xiao following Huang Xiao Ming‘s. Although personally, I think the “Ge Ges 哥哥” look better than the “Di Dis 弟弟”. Interestingly, the lead female Tang Yu Rou is said to be played by Victoria Song Qian of the K-pop group Miss A. What whetted my appetite though is not this pairing but the possible cameo’s of original cast members Hu Ge, Wallace, Tang Yan and Shi shi. But I know this might be so far-fetched given their red hot careers now. Scheduling conflicts might prevent this from ever happening.

If production starts this year, we may see Chinese Paladin 5 next year!

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Zhang Xinyu to Romance Chen Xiao in The Condor Heroes 2014 TV Remake

 

You’ll be surprised with what you’ll discover once you roam around numerous forums.A favorite topic of discussion especially in the mainland is still Yu Zheng‘s Return of the Condor Heroes remake. We all know by now the ruckus it created after casting was announced. But there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. That is if you believe some of the theories floating around. Word is out that this adaptation will divert from the original in more ways than one. Instead of a Yang Guo having only one love in Xiao Long Nu, he will have 3!

I don’t have anything against changing some aspects from the book for cinematic purposes or for mass ppeal. I mean can you imagine a 40-year old Frodo instead of the youthful Elijah Wood on the big screen? And for the life of me, I could never have imagined Dong Fang Bu Bai to be evil and endearing at the same time until the amazing Chen Qiao En played her in Swordsman(2013). Which was also one of Yu Zheng’s masterplan. Yuan Shan Shan even complained about the lack of love she received after being overshadowed by the villain DFBB until cold water was splashed on her face, figuratively that is. I have a gut feeling that Yu Zheng is cooking up something similar to this. I heard from the grapevine that Zhang Xin Yu who’s playing the vengeful Li Mo Chou will have a love line with Chen Xiao‘s Yang Guo! Now this I want to see! It helps that Zhang Xin Yu looks the part so well in the stills that fans are welcoming this diversion with open arms. But in these modern times, we cannot hold it as proof that the actual takes are as good (Thank Photoshop for that!).

So help me, I am on the fence about this adaptation. Though, I admit, the interest is definitely there. Or else, why the hell would I write about it in the first place? It’s still going to be a long wait before it comes out and sometimes even longer as what happened to Da Mo Yao (Ballad of the Dessert) which got a new title “The Sun Moon Legend”. But that is for another writing.

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