The latest adaptation of wuxia novel, The Duke of Mount Deer <鹿鼎記>, began filming at Hengdian World Studios on September 8. Helmed by Hong Kong director Samson Lai (賴水清), the drama will star mainland Chinese actor Han Dong (韓棟) as Wei Xiaobao, the story’s flirtatious and witty protagonist.
As writer Jin Yong’s (金庸) last work, and one of his most critically acclaimed novels, The Duke of Mount Deer is different from other stories in the wuxia genre because its protagonist does not become an expert martial artist. Rather, Wei Xiaobao depends on his luck and cunning to get through life. During his escapades, he ends up befriending the Kangxi Emperor and marrying seven women.
In every adaptation of The Duke of Mount Deer, much attention is placed on the actresses cast as Wei Xiaobao’s seven wives. Currently, six of the roles have been confirmed. Zhang Meng (張檬) will be Shuang’er, Loura Lou (婁藝瀟) will play the spoiled Princess Jianning, Jia Qing (贾青) will be the beautiful A’ke, Viann Zhang (張馨予) will play Su Quan, Zhao Ke (趙珂) will play Fang Yi, and newcomer actress Wu Qian (吳倩) will be Mu Jianping.
The role of the Kangxi Emperor, with whom Wei Xiaobao shares a very close friendship due to their shared childhood, will be filled by Shawn Wei (魏千翔), whom viewers may remember as Han Xiaodong in the recent period drama King of Lan Ling <蘭陵王>.
Director Samson Lai is no stranger to adapting Jin Yong’s (金庸) novels: one of his first directing endeavors was the 1993 adaptation of The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber <倚天屠龍記>. Following that, he directed Return of the Condor Heroes <神鵰俠侶> in 1998 and State of Divinity <笑傲江湖> in 2000. His most recent Jin Yong project is the upcoming Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils <天龍八部>, starring Wallace Chung (鍾漢良).
Thanks to his experience in the genre, Samson is understandably confident about this new version of The Duke of Mount Deer, in which he will put in a guest appearance as Oboi, a military commander and aristocrat who is thrown into prison and killed by Wei Xiaobao.
This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.