New “Legend of the Condor Heroes” Adaptation Stars William Yang, Li Yitong
A new television adaptation of the well-known wuxia novel Legend of the Condor Heroes <射雕英雄傳> is currently in the works. The drama will star relatively new faces, including mainland Chinese actor William Yang (楊旭文) as Guo Jing and mainland Chinese actress Li Yitong (李一桐) as Huang Rong.
Helmed by Hong Kong director Jeffrey Chiang (蔣家駿), this new adaptation of Legend of the Condor Heroes will favor shooting on location and building lifelike constructions over special effects. Although this requires additional effort on the part of the cast and crew, who have to film in low nighttime temperatures or even in light rain, their effort appears to have paid off. Fans were wowed by the newly released stills, which were of cinematic quality and resembled landscape paintings.
Legend of the Condor Heroes features a main cast all born in the 1990s. Male lead William Yang, who will portray Guo Jing, graduated from the Central Academy of Drama in 2012 and has played supporting roles in the upcoming Qing Yun Zhi <青云志> and the 2014 drama Cosmetology High <美人製造>. This past year, he also made the jump to the silver screen with the comedy film Bad Guys Always Die <壞蛋必須死> and the romance flick New York New York <紐約紐約>.
Female lead Li Yitong, who plays Huang Rong, is a graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy. Since her youth, she has been passionate about dance and dreamed of becoming a dance teacher. In 2015, she was selected to star alongside actor Zhang Zhehan (張哲瀚) in her very first TV drama, Demon Girl <半妖傾城>, which is expected to broadcast this year.
Mainland Chinese actor Ole Chen (陳星旭), who also graduated from the Central Academy of Drama, will portray Yang Kang and boasts the longest acting career among the main cast. When he was just four years old, he portrayed the child version of Shi Hai in the drama The Years of Burning Passions <激情燃燒的歲月>. Three years later, he joined the drama’s cast for a performance at the CCTV Spring Festival Gala.
In the years following, Ole Chen participated in various acting projects, including a minor part in the film Under the Hawthorn Tree <山楂樹之戀>. From 2010 then, he appeared to take a break from the entertainment industry but seems poised to make a return with Legend of the Condor Heroes and a role in the upcoming Coffee Prince Lab <王子咖啡店>.
Mu Nianci will be played by mainland Chinese actress Zoey Meng (孟子義), who was named as one of the school beauties when she studied at the Beijing Film Academy. Her first acting role was in the period drama Chinese Hero Zhao Zilong <武神趙子龍>. She was also bold enough to try a villainous role in God of War: The Blood of Youth <戰神之血染的青春>, which starred Yan Yikuan (嚴屹寬) and Yuan Hong (袁弘).
Other notable roles include Hong Kong actor Michael Miu (苗僑偉) as Huang Yaoshi, the father of Huang Rong, and mainland Chinese actor Zhang Yonggang (張永剛) as Ouyang Feng. Michael was actually cast as Yang Kang in the 1983 adaptation of Legend of the Condor Heroes, while Zhang Yonggang has played characters in three different versions of the sequel, Return of the Condor Heroes <神鵰俠侶>.
Legend of the Condor Heroes is jointly produced by Huace Film & TV and Perfect World Pictures. Huace Film & TV is no stranger to Jin Yong’s (金庸) wuxia novels, having produced the 2014 version of The Deer and the Cauldron <鹿鼎記> and the 2003 adaptation of Tian Long Ba Bu <天龍八部>. Perfect World Pictures has also developed a mobile game called Legend of the Condor Heroes 3D, which has been personally approved by Jin Yong.
Legend of the Condor Heroes has previously been adapted for TV many times, including a 2008 release starring Hu Ge (胡歌) and Ariel Lin (林依晨) and a 2003 release starring Li Yapeng (李亞鵬) and Zhou Xun (周迅).
This article is written Joanna for JayneStars.com.