March 31, 2008

Much Anticipated Upcoming Chinese Dramas

After writing about the much-anticipated Japanese/Korean upcoming dramas in my previous post, here are the Chinese language dramas that I think will be pretty hot this year:

Royal Tramp 2008 (pic)
This Chinese drama, based on Louis Cha's martial arts novel Duke of Mount Deer has been in the news recently because over 700(!) cuts/changes to the original version has to be made in order for it to be approved for broadcasting in China. This could be due to the theme of polygamy (the hero Wei Xiao Bao has, ahem, seven wives) and some pretty racy scenes that has never been shot before for a prime time TV drama in Mainland China. BTW, this is the umpteenth remake of Duke, the one that I liked best is still the 1984 Hong Kong TVB version starring Andy Lau as the Emporer and Tony Leung as Wei Xiao Bao. The current version stars Huang Xiaoming as Wei Xiao Bao and will debut possibly in April/May this year. I am not sure how this drama will turn out after all the cuts and changes but hopefully the entertainment value has not been too badly affected. I wonder if we can get the original "uncut" version on DVD hmmm...

Hot Shot (籃球火)
With a cast of three of the hottest Taiwanese idols at the moment - Jerry Yan, Show Luo and Wu Zun, exciting basketball matches and special effects never seen before in Taiwanese idol dramas, this one should be a sure-fire ratings hit when it is shown later this year in Taiwan.

The Condor Heroes
Ok this is another remake of Condor Heroes. But remakes of Louis Cha's novels usually garner much public attention and this is no exception. Hu Ge (of Chinese Paladin fame) stars as the hero Guo Jing and Ariel Lin (star of It Started With A Kiss and They Kiss Again) stars as Huang Rong. Currently in post-production and will be shown possibly in summer this year

It could be a side-effect of the Beijing Olympics but 2008 is turning out to be the "let's remake all the great works of Chinese literature" year, two of The Four Great Classics of Chinese literature are scheduled to start production this year:

Dream Of The Red Chambers
This classic has been adapted into a TV serial only once in 1986 and it was a big hit in China when it was aired then. This time round, the three main protagonists of the novel (Lin Daiyu, Jia Baoyu and Xue Baochai) wil be played by relative newcomers: Lin Daiyu - Yao Di, Xue Baochai - Bai Bing and Jia Baoyu (as yet unconfirmed). This heavyweight project is tentatively scheduled to start filming in April.
Wikipedia - Dream Of The Red Chambers

Water Margin
This classic is tentatively set to start filming soon (possibly in May/June 2008?), till now the only confirmed cast is Nie Yuan as Lin Chong. Hmm, I am just curious who will play the notoriously adulterous pair: Pan Jinlian and Ximen Qing hehheh.
Wikipedia - Water Margin

There is also some news that the other two novels in The Four Great Classics of Chinese literature - Romance Of The Three Kingdoms and Journey To The West will also be made into TV drama serials but I did not manage to find any news on when these two will be filmed...

Btw, the earlier TV drama versions of these four great classics by mainland China's CCTV station could also be regarded as classics themselves. Although the pace of these dramas were pretty slow and languid compared to today's television dramas, they were really well filmed and the acting and attention to detail were truly superb, check them out if you are interested in these classic Chinese literary works:
Dream Of The Red Chambers, Water Margin, Journey To The West, Romance Of The Three Kindoms.

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March 23, 2008

Character Posters For John Woo's Red Cliff

Character posters for the 8 major characters in John Woo's mega production Red Cliff were presented at the recent Hong Kong Filmart. Just click on the names of the characters below to check them out.

Zhao Zilong - played by Chinese actor Hu Jun. Hmmm, I like Hu Jun but his Zhao Zilong really looks a bit too burly and tough.... isn't Zhao supposed to be a rather debonair and dashing general? For another version of Zhao Zilong, check out Andy Lau's version of this heroic figure in the YouTube trailer for his upcoming new movie Three Kingdoms - Resurrection Of The Dragon below - in case you are wondering, yup he is the guy in the "WWII" combat helmet ;-P
(Wikipedia entry for Zhao Zilong aka Zhao Yun)

Zhuge Liang - played by Takeshi Kaneshiro. OK... he looks suave and scholarly enough...
(Wikpeda entry for Zhuge Liang aka Kong Ming)

Zhou Yu - played by Tony Leung Chiu Wai. Not bad at all. He looks more tanned and buff here compared to his Lust, Caution days. (Zhou Yu On Wikipedia)

Xiao Qiao - this ancient beauty is played by modern beauty Chiling Lin. Much much better here than I expected :-P

Cao Cao - played by Chinese character actor Zhang Fengyi. Fits the widely accepted image of Cao Cao. (Cao Cao on Wikipedia).

Sun Quan - played by Chang Chen. Not bad too. (Sun Quan on Wikipedia)

Sun Shang Xiang - played by Vicky Zhao Wei. Me thinks that glow from her forehead is caused by the reflection from the glass pane in front of the poster, it should not be in the poster itself :-P

Gan Xing - played by Japanese actor Shido Nakamura.

All in all, the characters don't look too bad at all. The film will be released in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong on 10 July this year just before the Beijing Olympics and in Japan in October.

Here is the Japanese version of the trailer:

And here is the trailer for Andy Lau's Three Kingdoms - Resurrection Of The Dragon:

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