Yu Zheng’s “Swordman” Finale Accused of Copying “Painted Skin 2”

Swordman <笑傲江湖>, Yu Zheng’s (于正) 40-episode adaptation of the Jin Yong (金庸) wuxia novel The Smiling, Proud Wanderer, will air is finale episode next week on Hunan TV. The serial has been receiving mixed critical reception from the audience, with both praises and criticisms. Fans of the original novel bashed the serial for its nonsensical story line and unfaithful adaptation. Other fans lauded the serial for its addictive storytelling fashion, also gushing at the Linghu Chong (Wallace Huo 霍建華) and Dongfang Bubai (Joe Chen 陳喬恩) pairing.

Yesterday, Chinese media sources spoiled that the ending of Swordman will dramatically differ from the novel’s ending. Dongfang, who initially plots to kill Linghu’s lover, Ren Yingying, in order to keep Linghu to herself, ultimately decides to save Ren’s life by giving her heart. This finale strongly resembles the ending to Wuershan’s (乌尔善) Painted Skin: The Resurrection <画皮II>, in which the demon Xiaowei sacrifices herself to return the heart of Princess Jing, out of love for the protector, Huo Xin.

Yu Zheng denied the plagiarism allegations, claiming that Swordman had already ended production when Painted Skin: The Resurrection first opened in cinemas. Dongfang’s heart sacrifice arc was instead inspired by an Iranian novel Yu Zheng read a few years back.

In a press interview with actress Joe Chen, she expressed that she was expecting her character to generate mixed reception when she first took on the role. “I need a strong heart in order to face the viewers’ criticisms,” Joe joked. “I really like Dongfang’s character. I portrayed Dongfang Bubai in the way I perceived the role, and I want to thank those who support my portrayal of him.”

Yu Zheng’s decision to cast an actress to portray Dongfang Bubai was most likely inspired by the 1992 Hong Kong film, Swordsman II <笑傲江湖之東方不敗>, in which Dongfang was famously and classically portrayed by Taiwanese actress, Brigitte Lin (林青霞).

Open Ending

Many romantic elements were added in Yu Zheng’s Swordman. Among the most heatedly discussed topic was the triangle relationship involving Linghu, Dongfang and Ren Yingying (Yuan Shanshan 袁姗姗). As Dongfang’s presence dramatically outnumbered Ren’s screentime, many more fans of the drama were beginning to support Linghu to choose Dongfang as his lover instead of Ren.

When fans asked if Yu Zheng would change the ending so Linghu would end up together with Dongfang, Yu Zheng said that Dongfang and Linghu were already “endgame” to begin with. The producer explained that the ambiguity of the ending will be able to satisfy the fans of both “Chongdong” and “Chongying.”

Source: 21CN.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. “Swordman had already ended production when Painted Skin: The Resurrection first opened in cinemas. ”

    Same excuses but again this time he has a point. But my point is he has turned a wuxia series into a sappy love story that is so familiar and again generalising every woman however successful like DFBB will in the end want the love of a lesser man. For me that is a great insult to such a great villain that is DFBB. It would have been so much better if DFBB was a castrated man because it makes sense in some twisted and romantic way. This is just insane ending. Further spoilers say one day LHC and RYY passes by a lake where DFBB was buried in and suddenly RYY calls her husband “Ling hucong” which she never did in full and only DFBB did that. Apparently LHC never knew DFBB was dead or whatever and was spooked by it.

    where is the carefree in the story? Where is the wuxia and swordsman and the irony of demi gods and semi devils sort of characters? Why shift everything to one character? In retrospect Jet Li version was a masterpiece compared to this crap. And it is crap, but highly entertaining crap but still a crap.

    YZ has bastardised so many stories without an ounce of originality. But he will go on to make successful productions because high ratings mean half watched expecting a train wreck and the other half watched because they like it.

    All I can say is Wallace has been screwed twice over.

    1. How is Wallace’s performance in this? I’ve only seen the trailer (man, mainland trailers are long!), but his LHC appeared so damn serious – practically 100% of the time.

      1. He’s gotta be serious in this context. Look at the mess he is in and it is only love, what more with enemies and all those stuff!

      2. Aw, but what is the point of this whole thing if LHC isn’t the carefree spirit he’s supposed to be?! The thing that distinguishes him from all the crap and seriousness that goes on in this world? Way to destroy the very essence of this show, Yu Zheng.

        Since he loves melodrama oh so much, he should have taken a leaf from Butterfly Lovers or Romeo and Juliet…

    2. The Proud Smiling Wanderer is my favorite of Jin Yong’s novel. And the thing with Jin Yong’s novel is that it is structured in a way that an adaptation which is faithful to the essence of the storyline and character will only do true justice to the novel.

      As such, will not be touching this adaptation in my lifetime.

      Still think the TVB’s adaptation with Jacky Lui and Fiona Leung is the best, bad costume and ugly set notwithstanding. The characters and the tone of the series were portrayed correctly with some changes that didn’t alter the overall essence of the storyline.

  2. Ooh. Random, but I didn’t know you can drag and change the size of the comment box…

  3. Too bad, DFB isn’t actually a castrated male in this adaption. That detail made sense for DFB’s twisted and perverted nature and his interactions with Linghu fun to watch.

    Joe Chen is great but she would have more acting material to work with if DFB wasn’t a woman in the first place. Here, DFB is more of a normal female character in a fantasy-romance wuxia drama.

  4. Excuse again! When the hell will YZ stop copying other’s works? Please YZ! For God’s sake, use your own works

  5. That awkward moment when you find out LHC with DFBB… DFBB is an old hag.. and also a male… which means LHC definitely gay.. LOL!!!!

  6. The worst twist of the series is the change of love of Linghu chong. Wat’s wrong with him, he was like totally in love with DFBB but suddenly turns to RYY like in a… second? When I have just got used with the love of LHC and DFBB, he changed and it becomes closer to the novel. So terrible.

  7. I’m confused. Anyone who has watch the series please clarify for me.

    Is DFBB male or female in this series?

    1. Really?? O_O
      How did you know? Can you tell me in which episode did DFBB explain she/he’s woman? Make me confuse :/
      Sorry for my bad language.

  8. Wallace acting didn’t improve much. His expression and acting as LHC similar to when he was in yi zhi mei. The only series that I think he was very different is in that series with Miriam Yeung.

  9. Is YU Zheng really not creative and has to copy like this?? If he continues like this, it will not do him any good.

  10. The newer generation will have no problem taking in the twisted storyline since they are not familiar with the real story. For those that do, its jut painful to see masterpieces botched up like this. It probably appears that we are the stubborn crowd who is unable to “try new things”. Personally, my conscience is at peace in declaring it’s failure before even watching this abomination.

  11. After so many remakes, it gets boring watching the same storyline thing over and over again.
    I don’t mind a remix and changes in the storyline as long as it make sense.

  12. I actually like it when remakes change the storyline because then I can watch all of them without getting bored.

  13. DFBB (Joe) was the only interesting character to watch in this series. After she died it became trash and boring. Better off having RYY die too than sacrifice DFBB. I rather LHC

  14. Let me settle this. Castrate Linghu Chong! The end. Now get on with you life.

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