Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber the 9th 倚天屠龙记 has released its first set of stills. I’d always thought this is the perfect Jin Yong novel to adapt for melodramas with idol actors. Glad someone finally took the advice and went for it. The cast is at least pretty and young , and I already like this Zhou Zhiruo more than the last one.
The new version of Heavenly Sword Dragon Slaying Sabre 倚天屠龙记, and is helmed by Jeffrey Chiang, the director of last year’s well-received Legend of the Condor Heroes 2017 (my first reaction to the news was that Deng Chao’s version was only a couple of years ago, until I remembered it aired way back in 2009).
Zeng Shunxi has been cast as male lead Zhang Wuji, though he clearly lacks the skills to bring the character to life. I have higher hopes for Tang Yan’s new employee Chen Yuqi, who was serviceable in Princess Weiyoung.
Justice Bao 包青天 has released more stills. Starring Li Dongxue, Gao Junxian, Zhang Zhixi, Kenneth Tsang, and Liu Qianhan, those interested in any of these actors can get get a look while we wait on a trailer.
More below the cut.
Zheng Shuang, Hawick Lau, and Li Dongxue‘s Republican drama Cage of Love begins airing on May 26th, and has released the ending and opening themes and respective MV’s. As the Dream Stardom Film and TV Culture Co.’s second project following Perfect Couple 金玉满堂, I expect the first half to be hilarious and adorable, and the second half to be depressing. See you in the first half!
Opening by Hawick Lau:
Ending by Xuanxuan: Continue reading
Despite previous reports that Legend of Zhen Huan (后宫·甄嬛传) would air on HBO for its American release, the series has actually been picked up by the on-demand media provider Netflix. It recently became available for streaming on Netflix’s website under the name Empresses in the Palace.
Originally 76 episodes long, Empresses has been shortened to six episodes, each with a running time of 90 minutes. Because the American release is so much shorter, some of the cast has seen their screen time all but disappear. The biggest victim is Chen Jianbin‘s Emperor Yongzheng, many of whose scenes were cut to make room for the doomed romance between Zhen Huan (Sun Li) and Prince Guo Jun (Li Dongxue).
The American release of Empresses has been in production for two years, with most of that time spent on the new soundtrack and on the English subtitles. On a random note of interest, Sun Li’s staff protested when Netflix originally posted the actress’s name as “Betty Sun,” saying that she has never used the English name “Betty” and that the website should have used “Li Sun” or “Susan Sun.” (Whoops, guess Wikipedia needs to be edited!)
As of publication, Empresses has a 3.6-star rating (out of 5) on Netflix, but director Zheng Xiaolong says he is not overly concerned with how the series fares in the United States. “The most important thing is that Americans have the opportunity to watch the series and at least have some understanding toward Chinese history and culture,” he stated.
Netflix is currently available in around 50 countries, not including mainland China. However, the company has expressed interest in expanding its market to China, which may be why it purchased the rights to Empresses.