Sammul Chan’s “Twelve Deadly Coins” to Be First Chinese TV Drama in 3D

After going through a lackluster career at TVB, Sammul Chan (陳鍵鋒) moved his career prospects to mainland China, and reached nationwide success with 2010’s Schemes of a Beauty <美人心计>. The Chinese dramas that followed, such as Yan Yu She Yang <烟雨斜阳> and The Golden Age of the Leftover Ladies <盛女的黄金时代> were also popular hits. After Sammul’s popularity in China skyrocketed in recent years, his fame may reach to even higher level with the upcoming 3D action epic, Twelve Deadly Coins <十二金钱镖>.

Directed by Hong Kong independent filmmaker, Patrick Yau (游達志), Twelve Deadly Coins is China’s first 3D television drama, and is currently actively filming in Wuxi, China. The Republican-era action drama is produced by Tianjin Jin Film and Television, and also stars Yuen Biao (元彪), Tao Xinran (陶昕然), and Xia Hua (夏花).

One of China’s most expensively-produced dramas to-date, a majority of the scenes in the drama will be filmed in 3D camera technology. With a total of thirty episodes, it is estimated that the production fee of Twelve Deadly Coins is even more expensive than a standard 3D film produced in Asia.


A loose adaptation from the book of the same title by early twentieth century author, Gong Baiyu (宮白羽), Twelve Deadly Coins centers around the young male protagonist, Yang Hua, who disguises himself as a safeguard in Tianjin’s An Ping Safeguard Agency to kill the agency’s master Yu Jianping, the man who destroyed his family. His plan of vengeance is to gain Yu’s trust so the master will teach him the twelve ways of the “Golden Coin” technique.  Hua will then use the skill to kill him.

Hua’s plans almost go haywire when he meets the master’s daughter, Yu Yanqing. She is deeply in love with Hua, and he too begins to develop feelings for her. However, to complete his revenge, he puts his feelings aside and decides to use Yanqing as a tool to get closer to Yu. After going through a life-changing mission with Yu, Hua discovers that his family’s death was not as simple as he originally thought. Hua eventually becomes one of Yu’s most powerful and respected pupils, and later takes command of Yu’s agency after his death.

Romance in the Great Era

Starring as Yang Hua is ex-TVB actor Sammul Chan. Prior to joining the An Ping Safeguard Agency, Hua was in love with Princess Wanqing, portrayed by 20-year-old newcomer, Xia Hua. It was love at first sight for Hua, and the princess also returns the same feelings for him. However, the vengeful Hua believes that avenging his family should be his utmost priority, and he cruelly cuts ties with the princess.

Action star Yuen Biao portrays the powerful “Golden Coin” master, Yu Jianping, and is Hua’s target. Yu’s daughter Yanping, portrayed by Legend of the Concubine Zhen Huan <后宫·甄嬛传> star, Tao Xinren, is deeply in love with Hua, and though Hua also begins to develop feelings for her, he cannot bring himself to fall in love with his enemy’s daughter. Hua pretends to be in love with Yanping, but is in fact using her as a way to gain Yu’s trust.

Yu’s senior apprentice Cheng Yue, portrayed by Ruan Weijing (阮伟旌), was considered by many to be Yu’s best pupil and future son-in-law, but with the appearance of Hua, this all changed overnight. When he sees Hua kissing Yanping one night, Yue decides to get rid of Hua and attempts to kill him. However, not only does Yue’s plan fail, his schemes also cause the entire agency to break down.


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  1. True about the lacklustre. I feel TVB gave up on him before really trying him out intensively. In China he gets roles TVB never do or will not consider him. I am happy for him. At least Steven Ma was given many chances before being fed up he left.

    1. How does one watch a 3d series? Need a 3d tv? Glasses?

      Who is Tao Xinren in Empresses series?

      1. Haven’t seen “Zhen Huan” but yes, An Lingrong was her role. She does look older than Sammul Chan… and she looks a lot older than her age! (According to Baidu Baike, she’s born in 1986)

      2. That ‘Zhen Huan” series…was Ada Choi the Empress?? If correct, it’s actually quite interesting. I’ve watched it already.

        3D in anything…….you need 3D glasses and YES, IT’S REALLY AWFUL.

    2. I also think it may be because Sammul never had a specific image in the HK media like many other siu sangs of his time (Ron Ng = play(ful) boy, Ray = handsome rich boy, Bosco = goofy easy-going joker, Kenneth = boring but genuinely decent). He appears to be a much more private, guarded person than those guys and as an artist when there is no “news value” it’s hard to gain popularity unless you have some major acting talent. Beyond the rumours of him being gay, I don’t think I ever read anything else about him.

      1. What, there are rumours of him being gay?? I have never heard about that..

  2. Huh, wasn’t Qin’s moon (秦时明月) the fist China 3D series on TV ever? Now have the second first?

    1. My mistake. 12 Deadly Coins should be the first live-action 3D drama. The Legend of the Qin is the first 3D animated drama.

      1. Oic.

        I was confused because I heard that Qin’s moon is the first 3D series of China.

        Btw, do you watch it? I mean Qin’s moon.

      2. I haven’t. I actually haven’t heard of it until recently. I’m frankly not interested in it at all. I love watching and reading about Chinese history, but the animation in the Qin drama looks terrible, lol

      3. I also think so for Part 1+2, but from part 3 onwards, it impressed me. The movements get smoothly and the drawing get a lot better.

        But I dun really like the storyline :). I watched it for the supporting couple, not the main one as I hate the main character from the beginning.

      4. Qin’s Moon animation looks stunning, better then the rest crappy rip off cartoon anime Chinese made shows.

  3. Very happy that Sammul’s career is going well in China. The fact that he’s chosen among the many chinese actors available for this first 3D series shows his popularity.

    I don’t have 3D TV. So, whether this series is 3D or not doesn’t matter to me. But, the plot sounds interesting. So, I’ll keep a lookout for it.

  4. the main reason why tvb stop promoting him was because of the gay rumors

    1. why shuld gay rumors stp tvb frm gvng hm roles… tht didnt stop bowie n wong hei…anyway sammul wll watch your show

    2. The main reason was because he refused to sign management contract with TVB. At one time, they did promote him and give him a lot of chances to entice him to sign management, but, he ended up choosing to remain with his current manager. TVB didn’t promote him much after that.

    3. No. I heard it’s because he didn’t want to extend his contract because he dont agree to the terms. I heard from his fans that hes popular and high paid in mainland now so I dont think he’ll comeback anymore although there are rumoura that his relative who’s a higher up in TVB want to invite him back.

      1. Sammul was never a TVB managed artist. But I don’t recall if either he called the quits on working with them or if it was the other way. I do recall the media kicking up a fuss regarding his last series, Emissary-something where TVB allegedly cut a lot of his scenes. So maybe TVB was doing it in retaliation?

        Anyway, his career in China is soaring so it’s TVB’s loss. As usual.

      2. @ Vivien

        The contract extension was a recent issue. He was already promoted less years before he decided to focus solely on Mainland market and nor extending contract with TVB.

        Yes, the terms was also one of the reason he refused to sign management. But, there are also other factors like him trusting Ivy more and him being not sure of TVB will really promote him even if he signed management contract. He also wanted more freedom. Sammul was the only Olympic 6 Stars who has never signed a management contract with TVB. He only signed artist contract. He has been with the same manager since he’s 19.

        I didn’t follow his career much after he went to China because I’m not a big fan of Mainland series. But, when he was still with TVB, I followed his news closely, and even translated one of his interviews for Asianfanatics.

        “I heard from his fans..”

        I was also one of his fans and still is. That’s why I hope he will come back to HK sometimes to act in some Cantonese drama.

        This reminds me, I need to go check up his official website and baidu page to see whether his manager is still with him or not. A few years ago, there’s news that she has wanted to retire. His asianfanatics thread as no been active since he left TVB.

      3. I would not even be bother to check out the new ‘Sou Shen Ji’ if not because Sammul is in it. 😛

      4. I always thought TVB just doesn’t know what to do with him and is not willing to do anything. Let him find his luck in China and return in much demand. Or not return at all.

      5. I know it is a bit late but I am watching Schemes Of A Beauty. I don’t see Sammul as an emperor, his posture is terrible but I can understand why he is cast. He has that scholarly decent guy gentleman look of the era and he is handsome in that series. The voice suits him perfectly, like if Sammul speaks mandarin that is his voice and it is quite close to his real voice in its gentleness and softspokeness except it is less effiminate than his real voice. The story of the series may not make sense but his performance to me is quite an eye opener and convinces me TVB never gave him a valid chance. He is not the greatest actor, but he has the looks for that sort of production. I am quite enjoying schemes of a beauty because of him really because kinda curious what is he doing in China sort of thing.

      6. And is it me or is he very tall in that series? I don’t see that tallness when he was standing next to elann kong.

      7. @ Funn

        Maybe Elanne is a very tall girl, so, Sammul didn’t look tall beside her. But, Sammul is quite a tall guy.

      8. Kidd, not sure. Elann looks tiny next to Ron? I believe there were some perspective thing in Schemes of a beauty. And he did gained weight. But he looks like more than a head taller than most when it doesn’t make sense.

      9. I would not even be bother to check out the new ‘Sou Shen Ji’ if not because Sammul is in it.

        Haha, different to me. I’m quite eager of this Sou Shen Ji although there is none of my fave in it :P. But after finding out it isn’t based on the Sou Shen Ji I liked, I kinda disappointed. Oh, just ytd.

      10. Maybe there were some heights in Sammul’s shoes in Schemes of a Beauty.
        I used to think how come the females in period dramas can stand so tall besides guys when period dramas shouldn’t have heels. Only realised recently that I was wrong.

      11. The king is always meant to be in a higher place than other xD so most of the time, you will see everyone stand in a ledge lower than his ledge xD resulting in seeing him taller, plus if I remember correctly, his hair piece is quite tall, too, adding to the height. Scheme of beauty is possibly the only mainland production I like, because the evil chick made you want to kill her, then pickles her for all that bad deed. Well all the evil chick in that series, you can’t like any of the evil one even though you know why they got there

      12. I am actually glad that he went to China since TVB dramas are going downhill… He may come back, if not to TVB but to other companies like CTI so we may still get to see him in HK productions in the future.

  5. I never like Sammul because he looks like a woman. Ron look mighty and manly beside him LOL especially in EU.

    1. yeh i agree, but Ron looks like a woman if he stands beside Michael Miu lol especially in

    2. Is that why there are rumours of him being gay?? Just because he looks womanly?? I personally would not believe them if that is the reason. There are many really manly men who are gay and guys who may look womanly but are not.

    3. I don’t think that should be a reason to dislike Sammul. I have always loved him and his acting and look forward to any of his new series…

    1. It’s for promotion maybe so that people can call this series the first chinese drama in 3D.

    2. Totally agree. 3D is only good where movies are about space/inter galatic.

  6. While it is understandable that TVB allots more promotional opportunities for its contracted artists, this style of management has to be reviewed as it is losing talented artists because of inflexibility.

  7. Why bother with 3D unless it has stunning visual effect. Judging on sammul’s hair and clothes in the pic, it won’t have much stunning visual. Unless the are intending to do a lot of action sequences, and good one, this 3D is just to gather hype for a possibly boring drama.

  8. Give us a trailer to decide also. Fans is watching a 3D apparently so should give a trailer if we gonna like it or not…

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