Netizens Ridicule Costumes for Yu Zheng’s “The Condor Heroes”

Known mainly for his producing and screenwriting endeavors, Yu Zheng (于正) will be taking on the role of artistic director for his upcoming adaptation of wuxia novel Return of the Condor Heroes <神鵰俠侶> as well. Recently, he publicized photographs of the two lead actors, mainland Chinese actor Chen Xiao (陳曉) and Taiwanese actress Michelle Chen (陳妍希), in costume. However, many netizens criticized the outfits and hairstyles, saying, “I can’t believe Yu Zheng would accept even these types of costumes.”

In order to depict the elegance of Little Dragon Girl, who will be played by Michelle, Yu Zheng prepared four differently colored outfits for her, despite writer Jin Yong’s (金庸) stipulation that the character wears only white. Netizens immediately derided his artistic decisions, with some commenting that Little Dragon Girl now looked more like Nezha, a Taoist protective deity, thanks to the “two big buns on her head.” Nevertheless, Yu Zheng remains satisfied with his aesthetic taste. On the day of the costume fitting, he reportedly even told Michelle, “In n years, your version of Little Dragon Girl will be the classic version.”

Netizens also wrote that they were stunned when they saw the photographs of Chen Xiao, who is portraying Yang Guo. His disheveled outfit and hairstyle reminded them of Li Xiaoyao, the main character in Chinese Paladin <仙劍奇俠傳>, and they remarked that Yu Zheng must have been poisoned by the other show and mixed up the two characters.

Before the backlash, Yu Zheng took to Sina Weibo to say, “No matter what you think, we all want to do everything the right way. Whether you approve of it or not, wait until you see the end result.” Some netizens have shown approval of his stance, adding that Jacklyn Wu’s (吳倩蓮) version of the series, in which Little Dragon Girl was dressed entirely in black, would have come under netizens’ fire as well, had the Internet been developed back then.

“Arguing now is just wasting your energy,” some pointed out, “and you’re also helping to promote Yu Zheng. It’s more important to look at the drama’s end result.”

The Condor Heroes Michelle Chen 2  The Condor Heroes Chen Xiao  The Condor Heroes Viann Zhang


This article is written by Joanna for

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  1. This version looks awful honestly. Michelle Chen was a miscast and I’m pretty sure she’s gonna e named the “ugliest” XLN… Yuan Shan Shan rejected the role first and the reason why is because she was getting backlashes from even being rumored to play the role.
    I dont hate Michelle shes not ugly but not amazingly pretty either. Her acting isnt bad either. But she just doesnt suit the role. Good luck to Michelle!

    1. LOL, first YSS rejected the role due to backlash then Angelababy rejected it because of scheduling and then finally YZ chose Michelle! She’s third choice! Even YZ is not that blind, I guess. Though he will not admit that she is a miscast.

      And I was right! The man has no original thoughts so of course YSS – plastic duck face and all but his favourite was his original first choice. But even though the girl is PS crazy and can’t act for life, she still knows self-preservation and rejected the role in fear of netizens’ wrath. That was very smart of her, and instead it’s Michelle Chen getting lynched.

      1. AB didnt say a word she accept the role.

        YSS is indeed smart to reject. Her reason is smart, too. Chen Xiao is newbie, a combo of her and Chen Xiao means burned. Both shall be teased.

        Michelle Chen accepted the role isnt a too terrible move but a challenge. If she eventually can make it, her career will skyrocket. Even not, she will have a fairly good chance. She sees through KC’s case with Huo Si Ren. He is still bashed by netizens but more ppl notice his name and he has benefits

    2. michelle is not pretty and her acting is not that great. this drama is going to be crap. probably the worst one lol But i lvoe chen xiao! i think he fits the role really well!!

  2. She should have known better than to accept this role – she’s not exactly some struggling actress who couldn’t turn Yu Zheng down.

    Surprisingly, even the massive photoshop doesn’t help.

    1. That’s the sad part. When it still doesn’t look good after all the professional shots and photoshop…then that’s the end of that.

      Lucky for Yu Zheng, there are still people out there who will waste their money on his production.

  3. andy lau is still the most charismatic yung guo after 30 years. no one can match him as yung to him chen xiao looks like a little kid.

    1. I favor Louis Koo portrayel of Yang Guo. Since I have watched only that version when I was little.

      But I also see screenshots of Huang Xiao Ming and Crystal Liu portaying the main characters. They are not bad.

      Uhm I can’t imagine Chen Xiao portraying Yang Guo and wonder how Michelle Chens performance will turn out to be.

      1. yeh,louis is cool as yang guo.i like him too. i like the cantonese version more than the mainland one.therefor i hope tvb will do a remake but i heard gin yong has banned tvb doing his work again.

  4. what a miscast for the female role…. on the other hand, the guy’s really hot in the pic at least.

    1. I think the guy is cute too. Don’t know him since i don’t follow much mainland series but he seems like an acceptable casting. True to above comment, she will probably be label if not the ugliest but the plainest XLN ever. The above pic already looks way better than previous promotional pic, better but still a miscast. haha

      1. The guy is named Chen Xiao, a mainland actor. He played Lin Ping Zhi in the XAJH starring Wallace and YSS. He was also the lead in Lu Zhen CHuan Qi with Zhao Li Ying. I think Zhao Li Ying would have been a better candidate for XLN.

    2. im not kidding but she looks like a ordinary maid from a tvb wuxia serie,nothing special.
      and chen xiao could looks better with the original yung guo hairstyle.but still looks more like a scolar than an matial arts expert.

      1. Agree that Chen Xiao’s hairstyle is not great. I really like Chen Xiao’s in the legend of Lu Chen. He looks so cute with Zhao Li Ying!

      2. Yea, loved him with Zhao Li Ying. I think she would have been more suitable for XLN than Michelle. Sun Fei Fei would have been a way better choice. She auditioned for that role back then in the Zhang Ji Zhong version but did not get the role even though ZJZ liked her for the role.

      3. Sun Fei Fei? The one whose dress was pulled down? That one in one of the Gong? Serious? The same woman whose plastic surgery who has left her face so frozen she can’t even cry without looking like a mannequin?

        Or another Sun Fei Fei?

      4. Which Sun Fei Fei are you referring to Funn??? I only know of one Sun Fei Fei. She is the one of the played Ah Jiu/Princess Chang Ping in BXJ 2007. I have never heard of Sun Fei Fei having any major plastic surgery before. I used to think that she did until I saw her baby photo. She had all of her features already apparent so I know that for the most part, she did not have any major transformation. She was one of the candidates for XLN but was not chosen so ZJZ gave her the role of Princess Chang Ping instead. What is wrong with her? She is way more suitable than many actresses in my opinion.

  5. Michelle just doesn’t have the kind of face that makes you go “whoa”, it’s quite average looking at best from the pics shown so far. Chen Xiao scores for his handsome face but the way his costumes cling to his skinny build gives him no aura of a strong and masculine hero. Together they look too young and premature.

  6. Who’s the woman in the 3rd promotional pic, she looks GREAT? ahha…

      1. Yup, PS truly does help which is why many spend so much money and go through so much pain just to have looks like that.

    1. Viann Zhang is the actress. She is the perfect choice for tat type of role.

    2. When I saw the lady in the purple pic I also thought, why didnt they cast her to be Little Dragon instead. She looks so beautiful and graceful whilst Michelle looks like a fairy wannabe.

      1. It shows how bad things are when many prefers Viann as XLN. The casting will be as terrible.

      2. when talking about viann, did anyone read latest scandal that viann broke up with li chen and hooked up with WALLACE HUO?

      3. and guess what the managers don’t deny and just say they don’t want intrude artiste’s personal love life. netizens mostly li chen and wallace’s fans are attacking and cursing viann vehemently in weibo as i wrote this now. surprise surprise

      4. hope jayne’s translators can cover this fresh baked news! hkchannel is covering this scandal!

      5. What?? I can’t imagine Wallace and Viann hooking up. That all just sounds so unbelievable since Wallace does not seem like the type that would go for plastic dolls.

      6. @HTS

        the news in chinese

        am hoping that this isn’t real too because i will be disappointed in wallace’s taste if it’s true! his taste can’t be this low! no way he will pick a plastic like viann! but the way his manager responding is fishy sounding since there’s no denial! no! 🙁

        manager response: 【回應】記者致電霍建華同喬恩經理人連俊杰求證,他說:「一般藝人的事情,我不會過問。」問霍建華同張馨予怎麼認識?他說:「我也不知道他們怎麼認識的。」

      7. what’s worse is the news are saying that viann was cheating on li chen by dating wallace! that males wallace sounds like the bad guy! really hate how viann is smearing wallace’s clean image 🙁

      8. Wallace and his team NEVER respond to any romantic rumours, even the living together with Ruby, reconciling with Joe and etc. Yes I do think he is dating someone but look at the timing. Rather convenient PR. I hope Wallace isn’t a guy with bad taste and a taste for controlling over emotional girlfriends too and I am still hoping for a Ruby or Tang Yan hookup. But my feeling is this is again gossip. I see no truth in that. If she is dating him, she would be weibo-ing about it by now. And don’t expect Wallace to reply. He never does.

      9. I agree he has a tendency to be shallow as all men are. Flashy cars, etc. But I feel this can’t be true. He wants to be with someone who won’t go public and that is the last thing ever for Viann. Look at it this way; if this is true, it won’t last. But I don’t think it is true. I have nothing against Viann but she is everything that he is not looking for in a girl.

      10. Went to a fan forum and it seems Sina apologised for wrong reporting. Not sure if true or not.

  7. The posters already looked like some bad wuxia book’s cover art. The casting is already wrong. Costume? Reminds me of what Swordsman was, which is colourful bath robes and such. The costumes here are ok, except if they are NOT in a condor heroes series. Yu Zheng has always given that sort of standard answer, like waiting for the end results, it will surely vindicate him. Remember Swordsman? It did not vindicate him. Because the costume is a small screw up compared to first the casting then change of story and at the end the acting.

    It won’t get any better. And the arrogance doesn’t stop there. Look at the English title. Condor HEROS.

    What more can one say about Yu Zheng and his bid to make terrible series?

    1. High ratings and lots of hype is enough vindication for him. Until the audience learn to not watch his sh-tfests then he’ll continue be vindicated.

      1. Totally agree with advo….the only way for that bastard Yu Zheng to stop flaunting his stupid arrogance is for people to stop watching the crap he churns out (perhaps then he will finally disappear from the face of the earth…lol).

        There was one particular interview of Yu Zheng’s that I happened to stumble across a few months ago where the idiot was praising himself so much that I really wanted to reach through the screen and strangle him (the worst part was when he started comparing himself to Oscar winning director Ang Lee…)…obviously, I didn’t finish watching the interview because I was already so disgusted with YZ at that point that if he opened that damn mouth of his again, I was going to vomit….

      2. He has the ego to match the ratings.And the success also comes from worldwide syndication. I admire his guts but I hate his “You know I am right” sort of egomaniac replies. He has his fans. In fan there are many Gong fans and that is like enough to tell you his sort of fans. I rarely ridicule a particular group but they’re like those who love Twilight/50 Shades group.

    2. This series is doomed to fail but what is new?? This is YU Zheng here…

      1. It wont fail, at least in money term. Everyone will get to watch for curiosity.

      2. agree the series won’t fail despite the backlash. look at all the hype and noise it’s getting now. the ratings will be high due to curiousity. yu zheng will be laughing to the bank.

    3. agree,mainland wuxia’s are extremely colorful especially the background.

      1. Ythat is not always the case since I have seen series where it is not so colorful. It just depends on the series.

  8. When Lam Ping Chi becomes Yang Guo, Xiao Long Lui dun need to be beautiful, its meaningless…

    And perhaps true love is Yang Guo and Yuen Chi Ping.

    1. Well if the director can turn Dongfang BuBai into a woman, maybe he’ll turn Lu MuShang into a guy to reduce the romantic entanglements.

      1. YZ would never make a creative decision that REDUCED romantic entanglements. No no, you can bet on him adding 2-3 more (unnecessary) romantic entanglements to the plot because he likes his convoluted love stories.

      2. Was he the same one that turned Jiang Yu Lan into a girl?? Or was it Wong Jing?? I do not remember now…

      3. Maybe he will turn the condor a beautiful woman :p. Watever, Yang Guo is one hand 2 birds lolz, he can deal with it.

  9. Not to be rude but this girl is ugly and totally ruins the image of Siu Long Lu

  10. I always thought it would be near impossible to miscast and mis wardrobe Xiao Long Nu because Jin Yong is so specific about her beauty and dressing patterns:

    – looking like she is 18 even though she is near 40’s
    – wearing exclusively white even when she was at the base of the mountain for 16 years
    – minimal facial expressions

  11. I don’t understand why YZ bothers to make adaptions. He’s is NEVER true to the source material and always butchers it beyond recognition. Wouldn’t it be cheaper for him to just rip them off like he did with Gong? He’s already attained fame and his dramas get high ratings even without famous/costly source material.

    1. He is out of ideas and just wants to milk as much money from the viewers and fans as possible. I think he knows what a popular story ROCH is so even though he chooses a bad cast, he will still make money.

      1. But my point is that he does not need to pay a lot of money to buy the rights to famous works, because his shows are always popular now. Ever since Schemes of a Beauty and Gong. If he’s really “milking as much money” as possible, then he would do like with Gong – steal, plagiarise and put his usual personal touch i.e. a million stupid romantic side plots.

    2. You mean like creating romantic subplot between Yang Kang and Huang Rong then create sexual tension between HR and YG because he looks so much like his dad?

      or Yelu Chai would have gay crush on YG?

      or he makes Wan Chi Ping not have sex with XLN at all to make him lovable if misunderstood Taoist?

    3. Zhang Ki Zhong can do remakes, why cant Yu Zheng? He did do new adaptions, too, such as 2 books of Tung Wah.

      1. I didn’t say he can’t. I asked WHY he bothers when it never resemble the source material anyway. For money? He’s shown he can rip off famous work and that’s much cheaper than paying for the rights.

  12. somehow they managed to turn such a handsome Chen Xiao to a beggar looking guy.. -sighs- they wasted Chen Xiao.

  13. I like the style of the costumes, but I agree they don’t fit the condor heroes theme/series at all.
    I don’t have any comment on the actors since I have never seen/heard of them before.
    I’ll reserve final opinion until I have watched the series.

    1. First the bathrobes. Now plenty of organza like fabric?

      No one says they’re terrible, everyone is just saying that dash of colour on XLN is wrong, YG’s costume is like Paladin series and the best is the purple one though.

  14. The costume make them look like they are in a fairy fantasy drama, not kungfu serious drama >_> not only that, the girl looks fat in her blue white dress, not gentle, strikingly beautiful at all -.- god, I want to punch YZ’s face >_> and YZ, your series need an infinity number of years to turn into a classic because no given amount years could >_>

  15. My feeling is he will make the villain the one who you sympathise with. Our hero will still have eyes for the heroine but the villain will be the more interesting one. Like reverse engineering? Our hero will look like a jerk, our heroine a total airhead ala Swordsman/Swordman. My question is will he change the bird (falcon? eagle? that giant bird? Not from Sesame Street?) into a pigeon or an owl is yet to be seen.

  16. [Some netizens have shown approval of his stance, adding that Jacklyn Wu’s (吳倩蓮) version of the series, in which Little Dragon Girl was dressed entirely in black, would have come under netizens’ fire as well, had the Internet been developed back then.]

    Um…so are they saying that Jacklyn’s Black Little dragon version proved to be a hit after release? I dont think so. Arguable the worst adaptation ever. This Yu Zheng version might just be even suckier.

    Not saying this version wont have it’s own young fans who don’t know better, and happened to start watching only this version. But a classic to remember through generations? Yeah, the most classically bad one ever made more likely.

  17. Chen xiao acting is amazing. I think he fits to be Yang guo. but damn, michelle is not pretty lol Yu zheng should really stop trying to milk more money T___T

  18. This is exactly what my mother said, ‘The guy looks good, but he’s too much of a pretty boy to look like a Yang Guo’

    1. Yang guo is meant to be a pretty boy. Huang shao ming was actually too rugged to play the part I felt, although he’s handsome.

  19. Yu Zheng’s XLN looks like a teletubby ? Thats not the image I want to associate with a supposed “goddess” role.

    This is the greatest farce to befall the JY saga yet.

    Thanks alot YZ!!!!

  20. I still prefer Idy Chan as XLN. She fits the role to a T with her elegance and grace.

    1. Same here. Idy Chan is believable as an older, mature lady but not too old for Yang Guo (Andy Lau) that viewers feel weird about.
      Crystal Liu is more lovely, however doesn’t give off the ‘mature’ look.

      1. I possibly didn’t mind crystal’s version of XLN till she wear stupid flower on her was like some hippy >_> I’m sorry, but that image just give me a feeling that she went cucco after 16yrs of isolation >_> so that’s why I don’t like crystal’s XLN as much >_>

  21. I would even rather have Christine Kuo as XLN. at least she has the cold air and impersonable look, but refined beauty. she just embodies that look and character without even trying. if based on characteristics, Christine is the better candidate and closest to JY’s description. I would also choose someone else for Yang Guo. not liking Chen Xiao either.

    everyone just save yourself some agitation and just skippp!! nobody has time to watch his crap-in-the-making.

    1. wish Louis would just reprise his role, he still looks like HK’s most handsome man, LOLLL minus the youth but he still doesnt look that old. the younger gen is getting worst in quality as we go.

      1. i still think louis koois the most handsome man in the entertainment <333

      2. its sad that the youger generation actors are getting worser and worser, especially if we look at what we have brought up the last 30 years with many actors with world class allures like bruce lee,chow yun fat,jacky chan,tony leung,leslie cheung,andy lau,louis ko and many others.and now tvb has stopped producing world class actors

      3. I think that applies more to the HK actors. There are many really talented actors in China and other countries since they all get proper training and education prior to their acting.

      4. I agree with HeTieShou. So many talented actors from China. Seriously, I have changed. Just try and watch Legend of Zhen Huan, and you can see the difference with TVB. So so good that I’m re-watching. Although, I will still be moan the same fact as kolo. I miss the day when TVB produced great talents like Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Chow Yun Fat, DoDo Cheng… Etc etc.

      5. Louis will need to give up his self tanning machine and take skin whitening injection if he are to be casted as YG again.

      6. Is YG supposed to be fair? Andy was pretty tanned. HXM was tanned. I think even Louis was tanned at that point. Who else? Even this one is tanned.

      7. Zhen Huan?? The plot is not as tight as TVB’s, some part flying in the face of logic and good sense. It is exciting because it follows a character faithfully through her ups and downs, never deviating from her. TVB can do that too, problem is they think cramming the series with many many characters is better than following a character. But I won’t take Zhen Huan as the example but the acting in there is of course a standard for all to follow, except for the emperor who was lousy.

      8. @Funn

        Louis Koo was very fair when he played Yang Guo. He hasn’t tanned himself yet at the time.

      9. Chen Jian Ban is a good actor but not sure how he did as the emperor in Zhen Huan since I have not seen that series yet. I will see it soon and hope that it will be good.

  22. Christine does not look too old at all, in fact she looks very youthful for her age. no one has the looks compared to her if talking about elegant beauty no matter what her real age is.

    like i said, louis would still be better than this guy except minus the age. michelle and chen xiao are worser candidates than so called “old ppl” who still look good.

    1. Louis in recent years is looking actually older than his age unfortunately. All that tanning has a price.

  23. The best looking little dragon girl is Carmen Lee. The 80s version is not bad either.

    1. I thought Idy looked the best but that’s my opinion. Fann and Carmen looked nice as well.

  24. I thought Carmen was the most beautiful, but Idy was also pretty. Together with Louis though, Carmen and him bought together the cold and devil may care attitude much better. Andy was good at playful, but not cool enough, which suited the characters personas after everything they went through.

  25. Yu Zheng is sort of like a troll in the TV drama world. He seems to thrive on controversy and would do anything to generate such negative reactions. He is not all that different from Wong Jing in the 90’s.

    Fortunately, or unfortunately to his detractor, he has built a rather successful track record from which he can lean back and laugh at all of our faces.

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