Yu Zheng’s (于正) upcoming highly anticipated television drama, Swordsman <笑傲江湖>, one of many adaptations for Jin Rong (金庸) popular novel The Smiling, Proud Wanderer, has finally released its 9-minute long trailer.
The wuxia epic centers on the kind and loyal Linghu Chong, who unwillingly finds himself in the midst of a power struggle in the Wulin community. The 9-minute trailer features mounds of CGI battle and beautiful wide-shot scenery. Unlike previous adaptations of the novel, the romantic relationships between the main leads will be prominently featured in Swordsman.
Wallace Huo (霍建華) stars as our protagonist, the happy-go-lucky Linghu Chong, a disciple of the Mount Hua Sect. Throughout the series, he will go through several emotionally-draining relationships, one with his master’s daughter, Yue Lingshan (Yang Rong 杨蓉), another with the ruthless Ren Yingying (Yuan Shanshan 袁姗姗), and lastly, one with the novel’s main villain, Dongfang Bubai (Joe Chen 陳喬恩).
The doomed relationship between Linghu Chong and Dongfang Bubai became the center of interest for most netizens. Dongfang Bubai, a castrated man, develops a fondness for Linghu after the latter saves Dongfang from a dungeon. Their sexually-driven relationship was fervently explored in Tsui Hark’s (徐克) 1992 film adaptation, Swordsman 2 <笑傲江湖之東方不敗>, which starred Jet Li (李連杰) as Linghu and Brigitte Lin (林青霞) as Dongfang.
Many fans of the novel were also satisfied with Wallace Huo’s casting. Wallace’s physical appearance closely resembles the Linghu in the novel, and Wallace was claimed by fans to be “the best Linghu Chong in history.”
Unfortunately, Wallace was the only suitable casting in the adaptation. Fans used “unbelievable” to describe Joe Chen’s casting as Dongfang Bubai, expressing that using a cute idol actress to portray one of the most powerful and villainous characters as ridiculous. However, in an exclusive interview with Sina last year, Louis Cha stated that he finds Joe Chen “believable” as Dongfang Bubai, and is very satisfied with her casting.
Fans also expressed that Yuan Shanshan was not charismatic enough to portray the intelligent Ren Yingying.
Swordsman is scheduled air on February 5, 2013 on mainland China’s Hunan TV. Chen Xiao (陈晓) stars as the tragic Lin Pingzhi, Bryan Leung (梁家仁) as Linghu’s swords master Feng Qingyang, and Dicky Cheung (張衛健) as Lu Zhuweng.
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