Zhao Lusi and Yang Yang Rumored to Pair for New Wuxia Adaptation

(Above) “Who Rules the World” pulled in the viewers but also faced controversy.

Airing to good reviews, actress Zhao Lusi (趙露思) and Leo Wu‘s (吳磊) costume drama Love Like the Galaxy Parts I and II <星漢燦爛·月升滄海> has scored positive comments for the leads’ swoon-worthy romance and great story. However, the same cannot be said for the actress’s other drama Who Rules the World <且試天下>, where her pairing with Yang Yang (楊洋) was lambasted for lacking chemistry.

Zhao Lusi and Yang Yang’s Pairing Slammed

Zhao Lusi with Leo Wu (left) and Yang Yang (right).

Despite surpassing an impressive 3.6 billion in viewership, the series has been riddled with controversy, from how Yang Yang and Zhao Lusi wore a fake two-piece period costume and 20cm-thick soled shoes respectively on set, to allegations of horse abuse and even plagiarizing off 2019 drama Royal Nirvana <鶴唳華亭>.

Viewers also took issue with certain plot details such as how female lead used her body to block two big cannons, and that both leads did not perform up to standard in the drama. With sentiments that their chemistry felt contrived, fans reflected that instead of bringing something refreshing to the story, the duo’s pairing did each other more harm than good.

Rumored to Be Cast in Remake of Well-loved Wuxia Classic
Thus, talk that Yang Yang and Zhao Lusi will be pairing up in an adaptation of renowned Chinese novelist Louis Cha‘s (金庸) classic Sword Stained with Royal Blood <碧血劍> was met with lukewarm reactions. There is ongoing talk that Yang Yang would be starring as the righteous and loyal disciple of the Huashan Sect Yuan Chengzhi, and Zhao Lusi as the beautiful and capricious maiden Qingqing.

While supportive fans felt that the stars’ second collaboration would give them an edge in portraying the classic characters, others pointed to the “failure” of Who Rules the World and called on the two not to “ruin the classic” as their acting chops were not up to par. Some even requested Zhao Lusi to stick to the tried-and-tested onscreen pairing with Leo Wu, as Yang Yang and her lacked compatibility.

Among several remakes include a 1993 film version helmed by director Cheung Hoi-Ching (张海靖) and stars Yuen Biao (元彪), Sharla Cheung (張敏), Danny Lee (李修賢), Ng Man-Tat (吳孟達) and Anita Yuen (袁詠儀). Another 2007 drama adaptation starring Bobby Dou (竇智孔), Eva Huang Shengyi (黃聖依), Sun Feifei (孫菲菲) and Suzanne Hsiao (蕭淑慎) also became a well-loved fan favorite.

Source: Upmedia

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  1. The problem is just Yang Yang is really a sub-par actor… His has very very limited facial expression…mostly frowning.. very awkward actor.. Even Lusi cannot bring out the best of him…she is generally good with many others co-stars.

    1. I also think yang yang is overrated. Besides his limited facial expression, he always seem to act the same characters. Even though people say his acting improved over the years, like in You are my Glory, but personally I don’t see much improvement.

  2. The main actress role will fit her… for the guy, the main character is boring, so Yang Yang is boring, so will fit him

  3. Sword stained with royal blood isn’t the most interesting Jinyong’s novels as an adaption.
    As for the rumoured casting, not interested.

  4. I admittedly am late to the Love Like the Galaxy train. I just started watching Friday and binged watched all 36 episodes over the weekend. I also watched Who Rules the World, and gave up half way. I thought Love Like the Galaxy has better writing and much more fleshed out characters with actual character development for our leads. I’ve gotten to know them and am invested in their life. That was one of my biggest problems with Who Rules the World. I was constantly just thrown information via dialogue and I didn’t develop any emotional attachment to them. There were other problems like the obvious bad writing. Love Like the Galaxy is a really slow burn romance, but the plot kept me guessing (like I was wondering how she was going to get out of her first engagement!). The chemistry between Wu Lei and Zhao Lusi was good even when before they met face to face compared to Yang Yang and Zhao Lusi. I would much rather see her with Wu Lei again than Yang Yang.

    1. Lol, the feel I get with watching Who rules The world is just storybook reading… few acting except some fights scene…most are just different characters reading out the novel..

    2. You’ve written exactly what I want to say about LLTG. It’s amazing. I stated in the beginning that I could feel chemistry sizzling from Leo & Lusi without them even seeing each other face to face. My initial thought was, how is that even possible, but it proves they understood the assignment with way they wrote the characters and the way the actors handled their roles. It’s honestly one of the best dramas to date for me this year. I just hope the streak continues

      1. I’m really enjoying this drama. Now that I’m caught up, waiting for the 2 episodes every Tue-Thu is killing me lol.

  5. Yang Yang is meant for calm, handsome, intellectual characters. He’s almost like the younger version of Hu Ge. Wanna give YY a challenge, make him play roles that Eddie Peng usually plays. Or make YY play Xu Kai’s role in Arsenal Military. I would love to see YY play a drug addict who is emotionally disturb and cries till his snot leaks out of his nostrils.

    1. @jesspepperwang didn’t YY act in Martial Universe and receive more criticism for overdoing his role? He tried once, didn’t work out and went back to his comfort zone.

  6. I won’t be able to stand another Lusi/YY pairing. The guy just needs to model and leave acting alone.

    On an unrelated note, man this summer has been really spoiling me! 3 ancient dramas that I’m actually invested in! That’s super rare for me. Has anyone seen Love Between Fairy & Devil? *Fangirling squeal* Even though Dylan Wang is meh as an actor, he’s watchable here. Still some nuances that he’s missed but I can’t wait till they switch bodies in the next few epis!

    1. @Coralie how’s the drama of fairy and devil in it’s plot? I saw a few episodes of the animation and really like it so hesitate in watching this. Besides some exaggeration in animation can be funny but not when it’s portrayed by actors/ actresses.

      1. @BearBear I didn’t even know they had an anime on this! I went and found it lol. The anime is truer to the novel than the drama. The drama is a lot more tame compared to the anime/book (I suppose the book had some rated R material that would make it difficult to show to a rated G audience plus the idea of one main guy playing two characters would be harder to portray.) It basically feels like a regular drama with some core plot derivative from the novel. If you felt the anime is too kiddish, the drama does a lot better job with making it more mature. Besides same names and some similar plot points, the drama can be viewed as an entirely different story altogether. It feels very xianxia tropey lol, e.g. unfeeling devil due to removal of his emotions, underdog fairy with hidden secret identity, love rival in the form of a deity, etc. I’m still entertained, regardless, but if you wanted something canon, this isn’t it.

      2. @Coralie Thanks! Maybe I should just try out one or two episodes this weekend, after my weekly catch-up of Great Escape Master version since there is no other dramas that I am following right now. Barely watching Immortal Samsara already and losing interest in Great Attorney Woo.
        Didn’t read the novel of Love Between Fairy and Devil. Though 9 Lu Fei Xiang has several works, never read most of them. I wish more episodes of the animation can be uploaded but it’s either very slow in doing that or they have no intention to continue.

      3. @BearBear The first few epis of LBFD are a bit awkward, but after the first 6-7, the rhythm gets much better and storyline really progresses. I like the drama’s interpretation of the novel, but at the same time, think the original version (anime-version) is much better at making situations realistic…eg., in the anime, DFQC was motivated to kill XLH, especially once her spirit got out of his body. That’s a very rational decision by an unfeeling devil. In the drama, however, we never got the chance to see that in action (to help ML win brownie points, I guess.) They’re pretty much bonded in separate bodies no matter what. But this separation of storyline helps keep things fresh, so you won’t get bored of watching either.

        I highly recco JLFX’s novels. Not a fan of all her works, but they’re definitely worth the time to read.

    2. OMG, yes! I am shocked with how much fun I am having with Love Between Fairy and Devil. The story, acting, CGI and music all fit well together. It is so funny how typical exaggerated sappy romance lines (“You are my life”) are completely truthful, not love intended, but somehow sweeter. Even the emotional parts of episodes 17-18 ish are able to move me.

      1. @PotatoChip I think I’m most impressed by the artwork and sets they used! Like that one scene where Senior ChengHong went into that water painting to see his friend – that was actually very creative (I mean not the first time I’ve seen it done, but I haven’t seen something similar for so long that it feels fresh!). And that Arabian/Turkish influenced setwork. The CGI also isn’t bad. I think parts of the drama was really well coordinated (like when DFQC flexes his devil power and the music aligns with those changes or when his facial expressions adjust to the switches. They were hot!).

        I am always interested in the initial development between leads, but now that DfQC is starting to brew/accept those feelings for XLH, I feel like this is when I start losing interest. Regardless I hope the drama keeps up with ratings because you can tell they used a lot of heart into the series.

      2. I take that back – we’re in an interesting arc right now so it still holds my interest!

      3. @Coralie yes, I was most impressed with the water painting. The effects here, though still has its flaws, are really quite good for several scenes.
        Have watched several episodes and really enjoyed it. Surprisingly Dylan was not bad (still has needs of improvement) here as compared to that dragon fantasy period drama. Always wanted to see a mega powerful but bad guy as the leading character. I think the story line is slowing down in recent episodes, at least from the episodes trailer? If it is, then will probably fast watch those sections.
        The animation and drama story do differ in details. It does makes more sense and it’s also funnier in the animation.
        I think it’s unfair to the 2nd ML to be compared to Ye Hua in Eternal Love by netizens. He’s actually a much better character and more worthy than Ye Hua (sorry to any fans out there).

    3. The rating for Love Between Fairy & Devil is actually much higher then expected… I am eager to start right after my 3 weeks holiday aboard… This summer is killing me…need more air con. Never had summer been so hot in my Country… the land known for gloomy sky and rains…

      1. @Hohliu Watched till episode 14 so far and I like it enough to watch every single one when I usually don’t have the patience. It has its own set of problems but the drama is still enjoyable. The only drama I am watching now and hopefully the story remains enjoyable till the end. Luckily it is not another 50,60,70 or more episodes drama.

  7. I love Jin Yong novels. I have read the whole set many times over the years and even learnt Chinese just to read them in the original language. But I have to saw “Bi Xue Jian” is one of the boring classics where the background stories are more interesting than the main characters. Yuan Cheng Zhi is like a milder and more boring form of Guo Jing. He is smarter and an all around good guy, but he started off at the peak of his martial arts, and there is no martial arts or personal character growth throughout the novel. And Wen Qing Qing is super annoying. The most compelling character is already dead when the story begins.

    If I were fans of Yang Yang and Zhao Lusi, I wouldn’t want them to star in this story, unless the writers have a different way of telling the story.

    1. @Elizabeth Wen Qing Qing is probably the most or at least one of the most disliked FL by Jinyong’s fans. I don’t care much about her (maybe because the whole story just isn’t that interesting) but not keen when it’s suggested that the ML likes Ah 9 more in TV adaptations. Was it the same in novels (be it the old or the revised version)?

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