The television adaptation of Tsui Hark’s (徐克) classic Dragon Gate Inn film series is currently shooting in Yinchuan and Hengdian. Produced by the Bona Film Group, Henry Fong (方平), and directed by Choi Jing Shing (蔡晶盛), the TV drama is based on Tsui Hark’s 1992 Hong Kong film New Dragon Gate Inn <新龍門客棧> and his 2011 reboot, The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate <龍門飛甲>. Both films were remakes of the 1967 Taiwanese film, Dragon Gate Inn <龍門客棧>, directed by King Hu (胡金銓).
The adaptation stars Nie Yuan (聂远) as Zhao Huai’an, a former Ming dynasty soldier who is wanted by both the Eastern and Western Bureaus of the royal government. Huai’an and his team of rebels arrive at the Dragon Gate Inn, where he meets the mysterious innkeeper, Jin Xiangyu (Michelle Ye 叶璇).
“She’s a very enchanting woman,” said Michelle in a recent interview with the mainland Chinese press. “It’s all acting in her eyes.”
Jin Xiangyu – internationally known as Jade – was first portrayed by Maggie Cheung (張曼玉) in Tsui Hark’s 1992 version. In Maggie’s portrayal, Jin is a cunning and manipulative woman who seduces and murders her guests for money, but was willing to sacrifice everything for Huai’an, whom she eventually fell in love with. In the 2011 reboot, Zhou Xun’s (周迅) portrayal of the innkeeper “Ling Yanqiu” has more redeeming qualities of nobility and resiliency.
The new television adaptation seeks to balance both the qualities of Maggie Cheung’s Jade and Zhou Xun’s Ling.
“Jing is both heroic and a hopeless romantic,” describes Michelle. “In a way, this character has become much more dimensional compared to the original versions. It’s a fresher take.”
Louis Fan (樊少皇), who also starred in the 2011 film version, will star in the television adaptation as well, reprising his role as lieutenant Ma Jinliang, a loyal servant of the Western Bureau. John Chiang (姜大衛) stars as a government official.
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate is produced at 30 episodes, and is expected to air in mainland China in 2014. A high-budget production, the TV adaptation hopes to emit the feel of a cinematic movie rather than a television drama. The director also revealed that he has incorporated an ambiguous homosexual relationship to the story.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.