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Starring Wallace Huo, Yu Zheng’s “Swordsman” Accused Of Being An Idol Drama

By on March 26, 2012

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One of mainland China’s most successful television producers, Yu Zheng’s (于正) Swordsman <笑傲江湖> started filming on March 24th. The Chinese drama was the latest adaptation of Jin Yong’s (金庸) martial arts novel, The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. With a cast of Wallace Huo (霍建华) as Ling Hu Chong, Yuan Shanshan (袁姗姗) as Ren Ying Ying, Yang Rong (杨蓉) as Yue Ling Shan, Chen Xiao (陈晓) as Lin Ping Zi, and  Joe Chen (陈乔恩) as Dong Fang Bu Bai,  Swordsman has been accused of being an idol drama by the online community! However, Yu Zheng maintained that his remake will be one of the most loyal adapatations of Jing Yong’s novel, while expanding upon the romantic elements.

Wallace Huo As Ling Hu Chong

Promotional stills of Swordsman emerged on March 25th, quickly arousing widespread discussion in online forums. Impressed by Wallace’s acting and personality after working together in Rouge Snow <胭脂雪>, Yu Zheng decided to cast Wallace Huo as Ling Hu Chong during the early pre-production stages. The actor’s physical attributes and aurora were considered to closely match the character.

While Wallace Huo’s handsome features were largely praised as befitting Ling Hu Chong, some netizens were quick to point out Wallace’s past melancholic onscreen personas.  One netizen stated, “Although Wallace Huo is very handsome, I do not wish to see an expressionless and unemotional performance….” This may not be a problem as Yu Zheng revealed that Ling Hu Chong will be a well-fleshed and vivid character, with ample opportunity to emote.

Swordsman will be a fast-paced drama, utilizing special effects to depict the fantastic wuxia world. The new adapatation will also focus heavily on romantic elements, in which Ling Hu Chong will possess an unforgettable love towards Yue Ling Shan, while Ren Ying Ying  will love him deeply.

Yuan Shanshan As Ren Ying Ying

After the character design of Yuan Shanshan’s Ren Ying Ying was released, the simplicity of her image made netizens complain that she resembled a “village girl.”  However, Yu Zheng defended the casting of Yuan Shanshan. He was confident in her acting skills and had decided early on to cast her as Ren Ying Ying. Yu Zheng noted that the character’s clean and simple image were intentional, adhering closely to the character description found in the novel.

Perhaps the most outrageous casting in Swordsman was Taiwanese actress, Joe Chen, as the androgynous martial artist, Dongfang Bubai, which resulted in the strongest reaction from netizens.  Appearing in many idol dramas, Joe Chen often had a cute and well-behaved image. Upon the casting of Joe Chen, Netizens exclaimed  “Oh heavens, it turned out that Yu Zheng is filming an idol drama!” Others noted that the curvaeous Joe did not possess the appropriate coldness for the role. Yu Zheng defended his casting choice, stating that when Joe Chen appeared in the Swordsman as a woman, his true identity as the castrated Dongfong Bubai was not discovered until later.

The casting of Chen Xiao as Lin Ping Zhi and Yang Rong as Yue Ling Shan was met with overall approval, due to their physical attributes found suitable to portray the tragic lovers.

Swordsman will mark Yu Zheng’s first foray into the wuxia genre, a marked departure from his trademark “scheming palace ladies” genre in the past. Despite the online community questioning Yu Zheng’s casting choices for certain characters, he promised to remain loyal to the novel and only add supplementary details. The drama was currently filming in Xiandu and will be completed in July 2012, upon which it will be aired on Hunan TV station in China later this year.

   

Sources: Cri.cn, Sohu.com, Tianjinwe.com, Zjol.com.cn

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Jayne: Swordsman will be a feast for the eyes in several ways, mainly the casting of Wallace Huo as Ling Hu Chong. Jacky Lui gave a very credible performance in the past; he was able to convey the carefree characteristics of the character quite well.

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  • Readers' Comments (78)

    1. TVBFanatic says:

      Hmm… I’m assuming that an “idol drama” means that it is a drama filled with pretty faces and no talent?

      Or does it mean something else?

      • advo says:

        That’s definitely my definition. Also, non-sensical contrived plots are a staple in this genre, no?

      • Addy says:

        Pretty people, predictable plots, ROMANCE, more romance, and even more romance.

        • Masaharu says:

          Addy, romance sells. Combined with the humoungous mainland production budget and beautiful cast, the drama may attract crowds :D

    2. Addy says:

      The entire cast is dominated by Yu Zheng people. Clothes are very nice, but I don’t have the wuxia feel at all. Too bright?

      Joe Chen as Dongfang Bubai is just hilarious.

      • Funn Lim says:

        I agree on the clothes. When I first saw them, I feel the girls are too colourful, the guys’ clothes a bit too “ironed” like as if not a crease (but they’re sweater based) and no dust and the huashan hat like some “siu yee” hat. I still feel the same way. The hair is ok.

      • Funn Lim says:

        AND LHC’s blue costume which I do love the colour is too.. Japanese. Even some sword reminds me of samurai sword. If he exposes his chest a bit, that’s it, samurai! Anyone watching Ryoma-den will know what I mean.

        • Miss Loi says:

          agreed with the LHC’s blue costume look Japanese.

          In the past Dongfang Bubai was played by an actress b4 like Bridget Lin and Liu Xue Hua…but w/ Joe Chen in that role I feel she kind of young since Dongfang Bubai suppose to be at the same level as LHC’s sifu.

        • Funn Lim says:

          My only comment is probably they wanna sex it up. It is a sorta young good looking cast although the girls are less pretty than the guys

        • Jayne says:

          Funn,
          The male costumes in “Swordsman” do look very samurai like, while the ladies resemble traditional Korean costumes. The ladies’ hairstyles, while simple, do look very elegant and nice though.

          Wonder how the CG will look. I haven’t watched a proper Jin Yong drama in a long time. Mr. Yong allegedly approved Yu Zheng’s script himself.

        • Funn Lim says:

          That’s why I feel probably Jin yong felt he was so screwed in the past, he is now ok with some changes to his story.

          The CGI will look bad because it is TV, and TV is bad. If Hollywood remakes this story, CGI will be great BUT the screwing action will be 100% complete.

          The ladies’s dress is more Han as in really old fashion but very and too colourful. Maybe the showstopping costume will be DFBB.

    3. Kidd says:

      ” However, Yu Zheng maintained that his remake will be one of the most loyal adapatations of Jing Yong’s novel, while expanding upon the romantic elements.”

      I don’t think his remake will be the most loyal if he’s going to expand upon the romance elements.

      I doubt he can surpass SOD96 in terms of loyalty. SOD96 was loyal in terms of plot and spirit.

    4. Kidd says:

      “Swordsman will mark Yu Zheng’s first foray into the wuxia genre, a marked departure from his trademark “scheming palace ladies” genre in the past. “

      Although many articles said so, this is actually untrue. Many seems to have forgotten his adaptation of the Chu Liu Xiang novel starring Ken Zhu, Wu Jing, Sun Fei Fei and Benny Chan.

      I gave this adaptation a go when it first came out, but, couldn’t bring myself to continue watching episode 2. He completely butchered the story. Chu Liu Xiang stories have some touching love plot, but, it’s not romance center. But, episode 1 of the series already very heavy on romance.

      My prediction is, Yu Zheng will make another successful mainland drama with high ratings. But, it won’t be a faithful wuxia adaptation.

      • Masaharu says:

        Yeah..I predict the same thing too. “Gong” was highly successful and launched Yang Mi into “first-line” actress, and it was by Yu Zheng wasn’t it ;)

      • Funn Lim says:

        And Gong was rubbish.

        But Yuzheng has been repeating it will be faithful, like some mantra.

      • HeTieShou says:

        I agree and that version of CLX was a horrible adaption… It is not good to always over do the romance since it gets really boring and draggy. It is nice to have some romance but not good to overdo it either. Well, it will get high ratings due to other reasons and not because it is a good adaption or not.

      • Fox says:

        You are mentioning of the Chu Liu Xiang legend ft Ken Zhu? It’s one of the most ridiculous series I’ve ever watched.

    5. Masaharu says:

      Wallace Huo..beautiful guy..Yeah. A feast for the eyes ;)

    6. kixbaby says:

      ren ying ying :)

    7. Veejay says:

      I dont know any of the artists above…

      • CY says:

        Haha same here.. :P

      • HeTieShou says:

        I only know Wallace and Joe, but that’s because they are from Taiwan. I don’t know the rest of them at all.

      • Fox says:

        Oh, you don’t follow China/Taiwan series, of course won’t know much about them.

        • HeTieShou says:

          Of course I do, but who said that it means that I have to know about EVERY single one of them and EVERY single actor and actress since there are WAY too many of them… I follow them more than TVB series these days… But like I have said, I have more of life than following and watching series and can’t know them all. It’s not like you do and don’t go assuming this and that…

        • Fox says:

          I’m telling Veejay, lol.

        • Fox says:

          Without any doubt, I don’t assume that you are watching China series more than Txb or watever country. You said it yourself that you watched many China series and you seem to watch ALL China’s big series. Then it was a surprise for me when you dun noe about the airing of New Water Margin since it is one of 4 biggest China series in 2012 :). I don’t question your ability on knowing FAMOUS Chinese artists and also don’t ask you to know ALL of them. I know you know the FAMOUS ones :P. BTW, it’s you the one who is assuming that I’m questioning you, lol. Let’s enjoy each life and of course, we are different, haha.

        • HeTieShou says:

          Oh sorry Fox! You should have addressed it to Veejay or else we would all get confused…

        • Veejay says:

          I really dun follow any China series and I dont intend to watch even one just for testing lol due to my person preference.

          As for taiwanese series, i watched some before like ARiel lin and that feminine guy (can’t recalled his name) and they r really not my taste..too cinderella style..i prefer something realistic.

        • Fox says:

          @HTS: I’m replying under Veejay’s comment. It means I addressed it to Veejay. I’ll reply to you if I post it under your comment ah.

          @Veejay: Then I say it’s reasonable for you to not know any of them. But they are actually quite famous.

    8. Funn Lim says:

      Jayne, happy you post a Wallace Huo news here. This is idol drama in terms of choice of casting but beautiful does not equal can’t act and vice versa. Wallace Huo can act so I am eager because of this gorgeous man.

      Yuan Shanshan is to me a problem. Having read how beautiful RYY is supposed to be, when I look at her, I don’t see beauty. Hopefully she is a better actress than she is so called beautiful.

      The rest no comment.

      I am eager for this series but knowing Yuzheng and casting a woman in a male character, that to me in itself a betrayal to the contents of the book. My feeling is there will be some romance arc between DFBB and LHC, as in DFBB desires him, LHC of course desires someone else. If not why not cast a man then in that role?

      Yuzheng being Yuzheng will probably place more emphasis on eye candy and little on the plot BUT since he is so involved and jin yong approved the script, it must be credible. Unless Jin Yong has been so screwed in the past he is beyond caring.

      By the way Wallace Huo to me is perfect casting. I am sure he will do the role well and he is getting a lot of exposure. I can understand the pressure.

      • Funn Lim says:

        ““Although Wallace Huo is very handsome, I do not wish to see an expressionless and unemotional performance….” ”

        Sometimes I think the viewers must be blind. He has been anything BUT expressionless and unemotional. Just because he is not throwing chairs doesn’t mean he isn’t emotional. What about the shouting, the tears.. ok so he was dubbed most of the time.. but I wouldn’t call him unemotional. He is restrained but emotional. And so handsome!

        • HeTieShou says:

          That is why acting is subjective. Some may love someone while others will not… Even singing is subjective since some love a singer’s voice while others will hate it.

          I have always liked Wallace and have enjoyed all of his performances from Tian Xia Di Yi, Chinese Paladin 3 and many other series. Many loved him as Gui Hai Yi Dao and that was one of his most memorable performances in my opinion. Glad to see him again and hope that he will be in more series.

      • Tiah says:

        After watching Strange Hero, I also think he is a perfect casting too. He definitely CAN act.

      • Jayne says:

        Funn,
        Variety adds to spice in entertainment news lah. Aside from Hong Kong actors, I’ll like to write more about Chinese and Taiwanese television and film actors.

        Projects from mainland China is taking greater prominence, I especially like the care taken in writing the dialogue in some recent mainland dramas. With such large funding sources, mainland dramas are able to attract the best script writers, costume designers, actors, directors etc.

        Give it a few more years, more overseas audiences will likely watch mainland versus Hong Kong productions. There are so many Hong Kong actors crossing over to mainland dramas that it already lends a degree of familiarity. Watching mainland dramas require more effort for me, since I have to read the Chinese subtitles, but it’s also an opportunity for me to improve my Mandarin listening skills.

        After watching TVB for XX years, I’ve grown accustomed to their plot and even the way some artists act. It has become formulaic, with little surprise. I can sometimes predict the convenient plot devices they often resort to, which takes away from anticipation of the ensuing episodes.

        However, I am not too familiar with mainland cast and crew, thus it is like discovering something new, which requires a little patience to appreciate their details, story-telling and acting methods, as well as a slower pace. Watching TVB dramas is like at breakneck speed, where I am ready to press the fast forward button on filler scenes.

        I hope the competitive TV market in Hong Kong will add some necessary jolt and quality back to TVB dramas. But I’ll like to spice up my entertainment options and broaden my visions a bit.

        There will be more features on mainland China dramas and movies at JayneStars. TVB news will still be a staple of course.

        • HeTieShou says:

          Jayne,
          I am so happy that you are getting more open to China and Taiwan productions as well as Korean. It is great to be more open or else you would miss out on many other great celebs and series. I started out watching TVB when I was very little, but I also saw Taiwanese and some China productions back then and was really impressed by them. Back in the days, China rarely made any series but all of the ones that they made based on the classics were so amazing. It is great that China is making so many grand productions these days and they should not be missed. I still watch TVB these days, but don’t enjoy many of them as much as China and Taiwan productions.But I still like TVB since that was a part of my happy memories of the past. I still love the golden 80s era of TVB so much…

    9. Funn Lim says:

      Oh Jayne why are you posting this news? For me?!?!?

      • Jayne says:

        Funn,
        “Oh Jayne why are you posting this news? For me?!?!?”

        Since our Wallace discussions on your site, I searched for his news in Chinese media sources and came across the articles on “Swordsman,” which I thought readers might be interested in.

    10. ita says:

      ah, one of my fave actor and wuxia story. Look forward. Wallace huo has very beautiful face, his eyes remind me of giraffe eyes, very round and long eye lashes. But one thing, i think he need to whitened his teeth. His teeth look more yellow and yellow each time i watch his drama. Probably because he smokes. Sorry, i always look at guys teeth for some reason. Handsome guys w/ bad teeth just a turn off haha.

      • Funn Lim says:

        I think the teeth is ok. Not yellow lar. But not hollywood white. I am not surprised he smokes but I have yet to see a ciggie picture though.

    11. HeTieShou says:

      I doubt this adaption will be loyal. I heard that the 96 version was the most loyal. I did not enjoy the 2001 version very much but it was ok. I guess I will give this a skip since I don’t even like this story very much to start with.

      • Addy says:

        The 1996 version is VERY loyal. Almost word for word and scene by scene. People say it’s the best adaptation too, so far.

        All of TVB’s 90 adaptations of Jin Yong novels are by far the most loyal of the lot. If the producers were given a bigger budget for them, they would be fantastic.

        • Fox says:

          By contrast, I don’t think any of TVB’s 90s adaption of Jin Yong novels are loyal. They changed a lot, mixed some characters and sometimes changed the plot and the characters, for example in 侠客行. This is why Jin Yong got mad at TVB and stopped to let them do the adaption after HSDS 2000.

        • Kidd says:

          The 90s adaptations of JY novels is a mix bag. ‘The Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain’ is indeed not a faithful adaptation. But, ‘State of Divinity’, ‘Demi God and Semi Devil’ and ‘Legend of the Condor Heroes’ are considered very faithful adaptations with minimal changes.

          ‘Hap Hak Hang’ just miss the 90s boat. It’s released in 1989.

        • HeTieShou says:

          Yea, Xia Ke Xing/Hap Hak Hang was made in 1989. Although that was not a good adaption, I enjoyed it as a series since the actual story itself is not even good to me. I heard that the old one from Taiwan starring Max Mok and Zhao YIng Xiang was really accurate. The one from China made in 2003 was accurate as well.

          I don’t think JY got mad because of Hap Hak Hang. It may have been after HSDS 2000, Flying Fox 1999(which was a HORRIBLE adaption) and other adaptions but it definately was not because of Hap Hak Hang. I agree that the 90s adaptions weren’t that loyal either. It depends on which series. It is hard to remain 100% faithful or else the series will get really dull…

        • Kidd says:

          @ HTS

          I was able to watch half of Taiwan Xia Ke Xing. But, the uploader didn’t upload the whole series. She/he skip the later half and straight to ending (I think he/she explained it was something wrong with her disk or something). Taiwan Xia Ke Xing was actually not very faithful. Shi Po Tian’s part was rather faithful. But, they expanded Shi Zhong Yu’s part a lot, making the 2 seem to have nearly equal screen time. I think it made the story better.

          But, I don’t like the changes in Hap Hak Hang. Relegating the main character in the book to supporting role is way to much for me.

        • Kidd says:

          But, I have to thank TVB Hap Hak Hang, because it made me like SPT, and because of my liking of SPT, I was determined to read the novel after knowing he’s lead in the novel. The desire to read the novel was what drive me to improve my chinese reading skill. Before that, I was able to read a few characters only and not enough to be able to read a passage. I was able to read a whole novel and learn a lot of chinese characters by the end of the Xia Ke Xing novel.

        • Fox says:

          Honesty, I like TVB’s 侠客行 over the original Jin Yong’s novel. Somehow I find it’s much more interesting than a goodie-2-shoes and useless twin in the novel.

    12. Fox says:

      Yu Zheng’s latest Jin Yong adaption is Sword and Saber ft Deng Chao and Ady An. It was bad. Deng Chao definitely can act but don’t suit the role and Ady, is a too siu-jie Zhao Min but lack elegance. The loyal adaption is never Yu mama’s strength.

      • Kidd says:

        You mean ‘Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre’ where Deng Cao played Zhang Wuji and Ady Played Zhao Min? That’s not Yu Zheng’s production. That was Zhang Ji Zhong’s production.

        • Funn Lim says:

          Swordsman is actually Yu Zheng’s very first Wuxia adaptation, hence his close involvment. I am more concerned with his bastardazing the 3 excellent adaptations of Kangxi, yongzheng and qianlung stories. My bet is they’ll be handsome first and foremost.

        • Fox says:

          No, it was Yu Zheng’s. Zhang Ji Zhong planned to make it but due to some arguments with the companies, Yu Zheng replaced him and caused Zhang Ji Zhong to get angry. Zhang said that he won’t never make any Jin Rong’s adaption anymore.

        • Kidd says:

          If Yu Zheng was the producer, HSDS would have been listed in his resume even if he came later. But, nowhere in his resume did it has HSDS. Instead HSDS was listed under Zhang Ji Zhong’s resume.

          I followed the making of HSDS. I’ve never read of YZ taking over HSDS. Instead I read of ZJZ being forced to use actors/actresses not of his choice becuase investors wanted it so. He also left most of the directing to another director because he was busy with JTTW.

          So, I’m doubtful of your information.

        • Fox says:

          In the series, the name of director is Yu Zheng.

        • Kidd says:

          The director of HSDS is Yu Min (於敏) not Yu Zheng.

        • Fox says:

          Yes, I went to re-check the series and actually I rmb wrongly for the director’s name (who is also started with Yu). But for the producer, Zhang Ji Zhong’s name is also not listed.

        • Fox says:

          BTW, watever, sorry for the mistake I had :).

        • Kidd says:

          In both chinese and english wiki for HSDS09, Zhang Ji Zhong’s name is still in the producers list. Of course, wiki’s info might not be accurate. But, ZJZ’s name is there as producer.

        • Fox says:

          I haven’t checked its wiki :).

        • Tess says:

          In the opening credits, Zhang Jizhong’s name appears under “总制片人”.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teAoccBKzIE

          It’s at the 2:12 mark.

        • HeTieShou says:

          Ok, so I wonder if we should credit Zhang Ji Zhong with the production of Bi Xue Jian 2007?? He left most of the work to some of the HK directors and producers while he went to do things for DOMD during that time. He neglected Bi Xue Jian but it still turned out good…

    13. Vicki says:

      OMG this is my fave Jin Yong story. Hopefully Yu Zheng’s adaptation will be a joy to watch. Though I don’t agree with the girl he chose for Ying Ying; she was too nice in Goong 2. I doubt she will be able to deliver in acting out Ying Ying’s cool and ruthlessness. Hope I am wrong!

    14. ping0 says:

      I think Wallace will do really well! He is not only handsome he is also a good actor! Like most of you I like the casting except for RYY and DFBB. I am not familiar with Joe Chen but I hope Yu Zheng as promise follow the novel and doesn’t create a sappy love story with the sheman.

    15. Fleur says:

      While the posters of the cast members are attractive, the styling of the characters depicted through image (e.g. clothing, hair…etc) is difficult for me to identify and connect with the spirit and potential portrayal of the story … or how it looks like for now anyways.

      Ling Hu Cong is a very masculine, free-spirited, easy going and carefree individual. Wallace Huo’s (like what others have questioned about his past series ‘melancholic personas’) handsomeness appeal is already delicate, scholarly and polished first impression-wise… which deviates from the story’s hero completely. It will be a breakthrough challenge for Wallace Huo’s acting, as he has to convince the audience a 180 degree change.

      I suppose I can understand and acknowledge that Director Yu Zheng’s motive of re-telling the story like an idol drama but an Wuxia epic’s (which I echo other commentators’ sentiments) greatness is the process of the adventure and pugilistic hero values itself rather than the romance. The romance is more a complimentary package along the way.

      If I were Jin Yong, I’d still puke up blood (internal injury wuxia style). One of the reasons why I fell in love with ‘Xiao Au Jiang Hu’ is the lofty sentiments of true friendship between the characters and unveiling of raw hypocrisy in humanity … and of course how love, brotherhood and loneliness can be found and expressed through music. The true jiang hu should be gritty and rustic. It is hard to imagine these new cast members xiao au jiang hu through the story.

      • Jayne says:

        Fleur,
        Thanks for posting your thoughtful insight.

        ” Wuxia epic’s (which I echo other commentators’ sentiments) greatness is the process of the adventure and pugilistic hero values itself rather than the romance.”

        I agree with your thought. I suppose that wuxia novels were all greatly influenced by “Water Margin” in which the stories of deep friendship and brotherhood were such timeless themes.

        While Jin Yong and other wuxia authors do incorporate memorable romantic elements, it is the stories of honor, courage, and self-sacrifice of their heroes that are most attractive. Jin Yong’s characters often undergo transformative journeys in becoming better and more enlightened people, through martial arts training and adventures in the wuxia world.

        I hope Yu Zheng will be able to retain this aspect and demonstrate the heroic feats and transformative nature of his characters in “Swordsman,” rather than just focus on their passionate natures.

        Perhaps Wallace will be able to drop his brooding act and showcase his carefree side?

        To-date, I find Jacky Lui to be the best Ling Hu Chong. We’ll see how Wallace does.

        • Funn Lim says:

          I think Wallace will do well if he is allowed to interprete the character his way. He may look brooding but I suppose shouldn’t LHC be brooding a bit? Having seen the lighter side of him, I think he can manage the carefree way better. However actors are bound by the script and the directions of the director. He is already a rather good actor. Now all he needs is the freedom to do it his way and from the reports I have read about his style, I do believe he has a mind of his own.

        • Fox says:

          Jacky Lui has the acting but he lacks the handsome look as describer by Jin Yong in the novel.

        • lychii04 says:

          Agreed… I don’t know many mainland actors but I wouldn’t mind seeing Ren Quan, Christopher Lee, Jimmy Lin, or Hu Ge..

        • HeTieShou says:

          I don’t think Jackie looked that bad, but at least his acting is good. He does give me the image of Ling Hu Chong.

          Christopher Lee is Malaysian while Jimmy Lin is from Taiwan. I don’t think Jimmy Lin can act very well at all.Even back in the days when I really liked him, I never felt that he can act well. He just doesn’t have the innate talent to act well… His acting is average to above average at best but never good… THat’s just what I think though.

        • HeTieShou says:

          I think this role is a challenge to Wallace since I heard that in real life his personality is really quiet and quite introverted. However, heard that he is more open lately which is a good thing and will help him in this role.

          I thought that Li Ya Peng was not too bad as Ling Hu Chong either but I like Jackie the most. I have a feeling that this adaption will not the that faithful but lets see….

          Romance is definately a very interesting theme in many stories and novels and is an important one. However, I don’t think it should be the most important or the main focus. Friendship, brotherly love, family love, how the hero develops through his adventures and experiences,etc.. are also important. Like in GU Long novels, friendship is the theme that seems to the most important and even overtakes the romance aspect as we can see with Xiao Li Fei Dao. I think that is due to Gu Long’s life and how much friendship meant to him as opposed to romantic love which did not turn out well for him.

      • exoidus says:

        Well I suppose money lots of money will cure JY from his internal injuries, LOL.

      • Fox says:

        Yuan Shanshan is definitely Yu mama’s new fav. I believe she is even less similar to the character than Wallace many times.

      • lychii04 says:

        1. I agree about Wallace. He has a very … handsome/pretty boy look which looks more scholarly than heroic/masculine. But it’ll be interesting if he does pull it off.

        2. I would watch a quality series over an idol drama any day – even if the people are less good looking. Kind of like how Big Bang Theory is all geeky and no hot guys, the humour and story line and friendships are so awesome that I can’t turn away.

        3. I don’t like the styling of this series so far. And you’re probably right, it’s because it doesn’t look gritty enough.. seems more like a fantasy-wuxia than a jiang hu one.

      • HeTieShou says:

        I am not sure if this will be Wallace’s breakthrough role since it is a character that has been played by way too many other actors already. Therefore, the pressure will be on him. I think if he wants a breakthrough, it has to be one that has not been played for awhile or a fresh new one that no one has played before. But I still think that Wallace can do it…

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