Wallace Huo’s “Battle of Changsha” Sets New Standard for War TV Dramas
Ever since Battle of Changsha <戰長沙> began filming last year, it has attracted much attention, due to it being the first time that the shocking events of the Changsha battle will be depicted in a television drama. The drama, which will star mainland Chinese actor Wallace Huo (霍建華), released an extended trailer last month, showing off its impressive battle scenes and blossoming romantic storyline in the midst of war.
Produced by Shandong Film and TV Group (山東影視傳媒集團), Battle of Changsha will be helmed by directors Kong Sheng (孔笙) and Zhang Kaizhou (張開宙). Kong Sheng achieved critical success with his 2009 TV drama The Line <生死線>, which tells of the effects that the Second Sino-Japanese War has on the fictional city of Guning. The series has been called the best war drama in history, as well as the definitive domestic war drama.
Because he likes to work with different subjects, Kong Sheng previously said that he would not film another war drama after The Line. Nevertheless, Battle of Changsha drew him back to the genre, because it will feature one of the most decisive battles during the eight years of the Second Sino-Japanese War. With the greatest troops, the largest scale, and the lengthiest duration, this battle has been virtually unrepresented in previous dramas, which will give Kong Sheng and his production team a chance to explore uncharted territory.
“The crux of whether or not movies and dramas can obtain [audience] approval lies in the story they tell, as well as the types of people in the story,” said Kong Sheng. The extended trailer provides an engaging glimpse of the characters and relationships in Battle of Changsha, as well as the betrayal and continuing tradition of a feudalistic household and the cowardliness and vengeance of youth.
In recent years, Shandong Film and TV Group has been thinking of ways to develop even more in the television industry, actively expanding its range of subject matter and production style, while also staying true to its advantageous conventions. Its dramas are frequently referred to as Lu’s Dramas (魯劇) and typically feature the culture, history, and traditions of the Shandong area. Battle of Changsha is an attempt to extend the company’s themes and styles.
“We hope that Lu’s Dramas will not only have the distinct characteristics of the Shandong region,” shared producer Hou Hongliang (侯鴻亮), “but rather gradually become a national cultural trademark.”
The inclusion of idol actors like Wallace Huo and mainland Chinese actress Andy Yang (楊紫) is sure to infuse the heavy subject matter of Battle of Changsha with a dose of novelty. Andy, who will be starring opposite Wallace Huo, is currently a third-year student at the Beijing Film Academy. She became popular after acting in the first two seasons of the sitcom, Home with Kids <家有兒女>, when she was thirteen years old.
When asked how he felt about being paired with Andy, who is ten years his junior, Wallace laughed and said that he had watched Home with Kids before, and that “in there, his wife had not developed yet.” Producer Hou Hongliang praised their performances, saying that they completed filming extremely well and had good chemistry.
Battle of Changsha will also include mainland Chinese actor Ren Chengwei (任程偉) and actress Zuo Xiaoqing (左小青). When commenting on the cast, Wallace remarked, “This is a team where all of the actors earn respect, and the director personally gives explanations. There is quality, dedication, and sincerity. I’m very honored to be a part of this drama.”
“Battle of Changsha” Extended Trailer
This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.