After “The Untamed’s” Success, More BL Novels to Be Adapted to Screen

Following up on the staggering success of Chinese drama Eternal Love <三生三世十里桃花>  in 2017, its sequel Eternal Love of Dream <三生三世枕上书> is currently airing. With the series’ popularity, fans are displeased as previous controversy, which claims how Eternal Love the novel had plagiarized Boys Love (BL) fiction novel Peach Blossom Debt <桃花債>, is once again resurfacing. News circulated that a drama adaptation of Peach Blossom Debt is also in the works.

The cast for Peach Blossom Debt are not confirmed, but there are speculations that Zhang Ruoyun (張若昀), Lay Zhang (張藝興) and Alan Yu (于朦朧) are rumored to star. To such circulating reports, netizens responded incredulously, “Don’t think it’s possible they’ll accept,” “Who would watch someone with a wife act?” and “There are no official announcements.”

Fans are displeased by how Peach Blossom Debt is referred to as the “BL version of Eternal Love,” as they challenged that the plagiarism had occurred of the former work. Netizens voiced their doubts, “Which is the spin-off of which?”

Earlier, it was announced that Peach Blossom Debt will be adapted to a drama with 24 episodes in length. As China’s film and television policies ban depiction of homosexuality on screen, the production team behind Peach Blossom Debt allegedly rewrote male lead character Song Yao into a female character.

Unaware of such changes, the novel’s author was shocked in seeing the revisions. She commented, “Regarding this drama…I just saw the news, and I am so confused. This…what is this even…is this real or fake?” After selling her copyright, she admitted that she didn’t ask how the material would be adapted onscreen and now feels shocked that the male character in her novel is changed to a female role.

Peach Blossom Debt depicts the romantic story between the prime minister’s son, Song Yao and the immortal Destiny Fairy across a journey of multiple lifetimes from the mortal world to the immortal world.

The drama adaptation of Peach Blossom Debt is not the only work to go through extensive gender changes in order to meet China’s strict broadcasting policies. Last year’s wildly successful The Untamed <陳情令> went through significant script changes to remove the romance between the male leads and to emphasize on their brotherhood instead.

Immortality <皓衣行> is another upcoming drama adapted from a BL novel, The Husky and His White Cat Shizun/Teacher 二号和他的白猫师尊. The cast is confirmed to be Leo Luo (羅雲熙) and Arthur Chen (陳飛宇).

Source: Ettoday

This article is written by Minna for

9 Chinese TV Dramas That Broke 25 Billion Views

January 2020 Chinese Dramas to Watch: “The Pillow Book” Finally Airs

“The Untamed” to Stream on Netflix on October 25


Related Articles


  1. What a misleading headline! It should be “More BL Novels To Be Adapted to Screen … but not as BL.” Ridiculous mainland censorship. Fortunately for BL fans, we have quality BL series from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, etc.

  2. Honestly think the fact that bl became a genre of its own and has a big following is quite unexpected to me. Years ago, my straight girl friend made me aware of gay men anime which she was into and I was appalled because it was popular back then even before homosexuality
    became more acceptable. Fast forward perhaps a decade or more later, a web drama became super popular in China had this weirdest plot where a men traveled back in time and fell into a women’s body. It was mind blowing that such a plot had almost a cult following in Asia. Nothing wrong with gay dramas but quite shock at the differences in culture even for me someone who considers herself as more Chinese than white.

    1. @m0m0

      Maybe it’s because of the weird plot that it became a cult following. I find the premise more interesting than a girl travel back into time and have romance with all the important (and handsome) men of the past. Plus, the series is actually very funny and entertaining.

      1. @kidd
        i watched the little bit b/c the leads were cute but the fact that it was a man in a woman’s body was hard to swallow. overall, i got to appreciate the novelty of the idea. got to give credit to someone to come up with it in such a conservative country.

      2. @m0m0

        The Chinese government tried to keep the people conservative, but, in actuality many are not anymore. It’s inevitable with the advance of technology and communication and influx of ideas from around the world.

        But, even in the most conservative country, there will be people with unique ideas and that go against the norm.

    2. @m0m0

      BL is not exclusively a Chinese culture or Japanese culture. You not accepting BL doesn’t make you more or less Chinese. Each culture has many subcultures that have strong following that the mainstream people are not aware of. There are also a lot of slash/femslash literature in American.

      It also laughable for some Chinese to think that homosexuality are white people thing and homosexuality in China are bad influence from the PC west. Homosexuality exist long time ago in China past history. They even have a term for such relationship.

      1. @kidd
        homosexuality is shun upon in many cultures not just chinese. people have been practicing it and it’s an act of natural not something people made up but yet people can’t accept it still.

  3. I don’t like this trend. It’s not like they don’t know the MO of Chinese Broadcasting Board. They will ban a genre when they see too much of it being produce at once. So, space it out. Find some other topic to make.

    Secondly, what’s the point of adapting a BL novel and turn it into BG story. Might as well find a BG novel to adapt from the beginning. These production companies want the ready audience that come with the novel (the book fans) but turn around and slap the fans in the face by making the story BG.

    “the production team behind ‘Peach Blossom Debt’ allegedly rewrote male lead character Song Yao into a female character.”

    Please don’t do that. The success of ‘Untamed’ is because adaptation tried to be as faithful to the novel as possible. They turn the two male leads love into brotherhood, but, they didn’t turn one into female. Does the production company of ‘Peach Blossom Debt’ know what went on during the production of ‘Untamed’? How the book fans fought back when the production team tried to make one female character into a Mary Sue lead that have romantic line with one of the male lead character (and loved by 2 others)? They sent letters to the production team and when the production team gave them a lackadaisical respond, they sent a 300,000 strong petition to Tencent (the big boss). They mark down series before it was even aired and vowed not to support it. Tencent finally took head and cut out most of Mary Sue scenes and romantic story line between said female character and the main male character, and order reshoots. That’s how the final version of ‘Untamed’ that everyone loves came out.

    1. @kidd Agree, I dont see the point if they need to change the leads genders. It would just upset fans of the series and takes away from its essence.

Comments are closed.