Vampires, angels, and minority representation in new film

4827a92djw1ek4y78f0yej20et0m8wg0

Your pick of translations: Waxing Crescent or Gathering Dusk?

As the first modern film produced by a big studio that stars both Uyghur artists,  Yu Zheng’s latest film will feature newbies and all 90hou Dilireba, Merxat, Yang Chengwen, Gao Yu’er, etc…  No news of the actual plot yet other than Twilight meets angels in a high school setting.

Because the actual title “Love Against the Light” sound too fancy for an obvious Twilight-imitating name, I’m debating an alternate translation of  “Waxing Crescent” or “Gathering Dusk”.  What are you thoughts?

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cosmetology High injects humor and botox into the Tang

Bringing on the Tang dynasty grove.

Cosmetology High (formerly the Making of a Beauty)  is a surprising mix of humor and even some creativity, a refreshing change from producer Yu Zheng.   The trailer also confirms my suspicion that Yang Rong is amazing and deserves better roles.  The series co-starring Jin Shijia, Zhang Zhehan, Merat, and guest-starring a lot of pretty people airs on Sundays beginning next week.

The Making of a Beauty features white-haired Yang Rong, will air in September

Yang Rong is incredulous that some dramas (ie, Desert Melody) get held back for years, and Making of a Beauty is broadcasting within a month.

Now that Fan Bingbing’s White Haired Witch (of Lunar Kingdom) has been broadcasted, Yang Rong can take a shot at the title. Featuring Jin Shijia, Dilireba, Kenny Kwan, Kristy Yang, Li Xin’ai, Luo Jin, Sheren Tang, Su Qing, Wang Li’ke, Yuan Shanshan, and Zhang Tian’ai, Yu Zheng’s upcoming production The Making of a Beauty continues to release stills.

Laure Shang Wenjie performs the theme song (listen to it on Youtube here) for the drama, “Waiting for Waist-long Hair 待我长发及腰 (wait for my hair to grow to my waist).” (Zhang Jie is supposed to sing another, Listen 听).

Incredibly, this drama (which began filming this July), will be broadcast on Hunan TV every Sunday…beginning September 7th!? in Paranormal Adonis’ time slot (source). More stills below the cut.  Continue reading

Yang Rong and Jin Shijia star in new Yu Zheng drama The Making of a Beauty

You can find concepts for the costumes here, although I don’t see Yang Rong’s gowns among them.

Yu Zheng‘s studios is coming out with another drama, which began shooting in Hengdian on July 1st. Starring Jin Shijia as a miracle doctor (who does things like catch mermaids when not mixing up a new treatment for his royal patrons…including Sheren Tang‘s Wu Zetian). Yang Rong, long time supporting lead for Yu Zheng’s dramas, finally nailed the protagonist role as the female lead, Jin Shijia’s love interest. Jin Shijia finds out that his son was actually fathered by his steward (it’s Yu Zheng, go with the flow), and takes to the streets; Yang Rong, who is the madame of a brothel and unabashedly in love with Jin Shijia (a Tang dynasty “superfan”), takes him in - though he causes her business to go bankrupt.

The story will play out in five chapters, each one a mini-story, and air on Hunan’s weekly spot after Paranormal Adonis
Yuan Shanshan will be Princess Yongning in one of them, falling in love with Luo Jin‘s young general; later, Su Qing‘s workaholic character realizes that Zhang Tianai’s interloper threatens her previously unappreciated relationship with her husband, played by Kenny Kwan. Later, a prince (Qiu Xinzhi) will demand that Jin Shijia’s doctor return his consort(Kristy Yang)’s youth, and unable to do so, they will bring in Hsin Ai Lee/Li Xinai as a substitute instead. Add Wang Like, a mermaid-assasin(???) to the mix, and you get the basic plotline for Yu Zheng’s new collaboration with Hunan TV, The Making of a Beauty 美人制造. Look under the cut for more posters from this series.

Continue reading

Internet novelists begin to take control of their own drama

I'd watch this.

Chen Xiao in uniform? I’m sold.

Remember back in the days when novels were first being made into TV series? Now, these writers are skipping the novel part and going straight to TV.   With the famous Tonghua (Bu Bu Jing Xin, Cloud Song, Desert Melody) setting the way and now producing her third series  (Perfect Couple, Cage of Love, and an upcoming one), others are joining suit.  A number of upcoming series will be penned by their original authors, including Hai Yan for Nirvana in Fire and Gu Man for Wallace Chung and Tang Yan’s modern series 何以笙箫默.

Others have gone straight to script-writing, producing new works just for the screen.  Most noted for her books involving female secret agents time-travelling and pwning the ancient world,  Xiaoxiang Dong’er is writing a script for Yu Zheng featuring once again special force members, this time set in the Republican era. If anything, the thought of announced lead Chen Xiao in uniform is enough for us to be excited about.

Infamous novelist Vivibear is also working with Yu Zheng on a Palace spinoff.  Despite her notoriety for plagiarism, I’m kind of hoping that Yu Zheng will pick up her book on Lanling Wang because it explains the beauty of the Prince of Orchid Hills by saying she’s actually a girl crossdressing as a boy.

Finally, historical romance writer XiaoChun, who gets nightmares about scriptwriters ruining her books,  revealed she’s also working on a script. Although she’s only written two books, she’s known for her deep knowledge of her subjects and cramming a lot of history into her stories, which is why she’s one of my favorites.

While there’s been a good track record for novelists to advice rather than write their own scripts (the other Hai Yan, Yan Geling, Tonghua, etc.), it’s to be seen how these direct transition from internet novel to script will work. Will these new scriptwriters find success among their predecessors like Qiong Yao and Guo Jingming? What do you think?

 

Chen Xiao’s “The Condor Heroes” Releases First Preview

Chen Xiao and Michelle Chen display their tag-team kung fu as Yu Zheng shows off his Photoshop fu. (Seriously. Look at Chen Xiao’s forehead.)

Yu Zheng may have been accused of plagiarism, but that’s not stopping him from going full-steam ahead with his other high-profile project, the newest adaptation of wuxia classic Return of the Condor Heroes (神雕侠侣). Starring Chen Xiao as Yang Guo and Michelle Chen as Xiaolongnü, the drama is now officially titled The Romance of the Condor Heroes.

The preview is essentially a mishmash of scenes that will probably make sense only to those who know the storyline (or, seeing as Yu Zheng is the screenwriter, maybe not). Check out the video and some stills below, and get your first look at Yang Rong as Mei Chaofeng.

Continue reading

Qiong Yao Accuses Yu Zheng of Plagiarism

Qiong Yao vs. Yu Zheng

Qiong Yao vs. Yu Zheng

To no one’s surprise, producer-screenwriter Yu Zheng is being accused yet again of plagiarism. This time, the charge comes from well-known novelist Qiong Yao, who claims that his currently airing drama, Palace 3 (宫锁连城), copied her novel-turned-1993-series Plum Blossom Scar (梅花烙). The event then spurred on a number of accusations toward Yu Zheng for copying varying works, including by former scriptwriters.

Qiong Yao, whom readers may know best as the creator of Princess Returning Pearl/My Fair Princess (还珠格格), published an open letter to SARFT on Sina Weibo on Tuesday afternoon. In this lengthy indictment, she writes that she was preparing to remake Plum Blossom Scar, with an anticipated 2015 broadcast, only to discover that Palace 3 was a copy of her own story.

The similarities between the two series have not gone unnoticed by viewers. Even Palace 3 actress Shirley Dai commented that Yu Zheng’s work was born out of Plum Blossom Scar, a scandal that caused a fallout between Yu Zheng and Dai. Both plots involve a switcheroo of the two main characters as a result of a preference for boys, and a similar love triangle between the three leads, although Yu Zheng’s series branches away then by doing a remix of Painted Skin II by having the two lead females switch skins.

Qiong Yao claims that this incident has caused her to fall ill from anger and that she has stopped all work, including a screenplay for her own adaptation, for which she has already completed 25 episodes. Her daughter-in-law, who serves as the manager of Qiong Yao’s mainland-based production company New Image, contacted Hunan TV, the almost exclusive broadcaster of the company, to ask the channel to halt the broadcast of Palace 3, but it was to no avail.  Qiong Yao also asked her supporters to boycott Palace 3, in order to protest Yu Zheng’s lack of respect for copyright.

Continue reading

Round up: What’s Yu Zheng up to?

Which drama does this still remind you off? This one? Or this one?

Quiz up (can someone make me a Chinese entertainment version?)! Which one of these is not a drama recently produced by Yu Zheng? Song in the CloudsPalace 3Return of the Condor Heroes 2014, or The Palace? Colorful stills are abound from each drama, and synopses for these can be found by following links to previous posts.

More than once he’s been called upon to “scat from the entertainment circle,” but Yu Zheng is still going strong: his upcoming dramas include Turnip 蔓蔓青萝, a story concerning the young lady Li Qingluo (“Green Carrot”). The daughter of a concubine, she and her mother are disdained by the rest of her high ranking family, and she rarely puts on make up or competes with her sisters for attention. Yet she is a talented zither player and a skilled cook, and when her mother is sick in bed one day, only she leaves to search for medicine. Disguised as a boy one day, she meets the “Five Princes of Feng City,” thus opening a tangled love story…

Also upcoming is his “sequel” to the Legend of Lü Zhen, Legend of Mingyue. (Looking forward to seeing Chen XIao in uniform? This is a Republican era piece). The drama series is based off of the novel The Last Prince, the love story of the “last prince” of the Qing dynasty. Yu Zheng also has plans to adapt the last series in the Condor Trilogy, Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber, to television sometime in the future.

Continue reading

“Song in the Clouds” to Air on June 30th

Angelababy’s smiling at the news just like you are! (Except you probably aren’t Photoshopped.)

Someone must have made a big offering to the cdrama gods, because Song in the Clouds (大汉情缘之云中歌), also known as Yun Zhong Ge, has now announced a broadcast date as well: June 30th.

Starring Angelababy, Du Chun, and Lu Yi, Song in the Clouds is an adaptation of a novel by Tong Hua (of Bu Bu Jing Xin fame). The story takes place after Desert Melody, now titled Legend of the Moon and Stars (星月传奇), which is unfortunately still in that post-production void.

In a nutshell, Song in the Clouds is the story of Huo Yunge (Angelababy), who rescued Liu Fuling (Lu Yi), the Emperor Zhao of Han, when he was eight years old and lost in the desert. Fast forward ten years, and Yunge is off to the emperor’s court looking for the young man she rescued. Unfortunately, she meets and falls in love with Meng Jue (Du Chun), only to discover that she’s being exploited by those hungering for power in the imperial palace.

Song in the Clouds is produced (though not written) by Yu Zheng, and also features everyone’s favorite Chen Xiao. It will air on Zhejiang TV, Jiangsu TV, Shenzhen TV, and Dragon TV.

Source

“Condor Heroes” release stills for Dong Xuan,Yan Yikuan

704_1164264_584202

Dong Xuan, Yan Yikuan goes to the Yule Ball.

While the leads of The Condor Heroes are getting all sorts of hate,  the rest of the cast still get pretty stills.  The latest set released are of name-changed Yan Yikuan as Wang Chongyang, the founder of the Quanzhen Sect,  and Dong Xuan as Lin Chaoyin,  the founder of the Ancient Tomb Sect of the main character XiaoLongNv.  The pair of star-crossed lovers has a rather beautiful love story, which you can read more about here.

Continue reading