Chen Kun‘s (Chongqing Hotpot) The Rise of Phoenixes has finally found its leading actress in Ni Ni (Suddenly Seventeen). This will be the latter’s first television drama role since her debut in Zhang Yimou’s 2011 war film The Flowers of War.
Ni Ni plays Feng Zhiwei, the illegitimate daughter of a noble family. Zhiwei becomes involved in the princes’ battle for the throne, and subsequently discovers she is the descendant of a fallen dynasty. Feng Zhiwei will stop at nothing to restore her kingdom, and is forced to turn against Ning Yi (Chen Kun) in the process.
Ning Yi is the quintessential romance novel male lead who sacrifices everything for the female lead. Earlier media reports stated the script would focus more on Ning Yi’s thirst for power and his journey up the political ladder, which doesn’t seem too far-fetched with Chen Kun onboard. As long as the script doesn’t overdo the romance and forget about Feng Zhiwei’s character development midway through, I think we’re in for a solid show.
The production team includes director Shen Yan (Chinese Style Relationship), writers Zou Yue (Guardian of Beauty) and Wang Pei (I Am Not a Demon) and costume designer Zhang Shuping (Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms). Filming begins in May, and will last for 7 months.