Dragon Saber and Heavenly Sword finishes filming

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I, Xiao Zhao, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the Sect Leader of Manichaeism, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Holy Light

The third drama in the Condor Heroes trilogy -Dragon Saber and Heavenly Sword recently finished filming. Jin Yong is the only old guy that I fangirl over, and I would gladly pick him over any guy. With plots of Dickens, language of Fitzgerald, Jin Yong is so awesome that he has his own area of study – Jinology. Read some of his novels translated here.

This will also be Zhang Jizhong’s seventh and last Jin Yong drama, after which he will tackle the ambitious Journey to the West remake.

From the pictures, I was probably the most surprised by He Zhuoyan’s Xiao Zhao, the virgin heir to the throne of Manichaeism. I was hoping that this Persian princess could be,well, more Persian-looking. But He Zhuoyan looked so beautiful that it’s hard to complain.

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Little cute ugly girl

He Zhuoyan's cute even after "uglification."

Liu Jing’s Zhou Zhiru was a disappointment at first. Despite what Zhang Jizhong says, her beauty is not in par with Crystal Liu. She looks prettier on screen, though. And her role probably requires more acting skills than anything else. Also a Central Academy grad, Liu Jing also plays Xiao Qiao (like Jing Boran) in the new Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Zhang Wuji’s probably one of my least favorite male leads in Jin Yong’s novels, but he’s also one of the selfless ones. So selfless that he doesn’t really do anything in case it’ll hurt someone. Nevertheless, being Jin Yong, it can’t be bad. And Deng Chao has both the looks and acting to pull it off. Watch him with Sun Li in Happiness is like a flower here and the trailer for The Equation of Life and Death with Zhou Xun here.

This is why I like Zhang Wuji even less than I like Wei Xiaobao. At least Wei Xiaobao's frank about it. Zhang Wuji's too weak to even admit it.

Why I like Zhang Wuji even less than I like Wei Xiaobao. At least Wei Xiaobao's frank about being unfaithful. Zhang Wuji does it in his dreams.

Below is proof that what you do unto others will come back to you. Interestingly enough, “little Crystal Liu” Liu Shishi is playing Xiao Longnv(played by Crystal Liu in 2006)’s daughter/grandaughter, who makes a five-minute cameo in this drama.

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While waiting for Wuji to decide, An Yixuan pays tribute to her ex-Li Xiaoyao.

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Deng Chao pauses to admire Ady, totally oblivious to the poisonous flowers all around him and Wuji's mother's last words - "Don't trust pretty women."

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An Yixuan marks her territory with a bite.

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Zhang Jizhong used to be a cinematographer, can you tell?

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Yang Buhui and little Yang Buhui

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Zhang Meng as the poisonous Zhu'er

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Off-screen, An Yixuan does a plug-in for Top Combine's Cotton Candy

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an army from the other side of the rainbow

Added by Cfensi…some more Ady An pics for no other reason other than the fact that she’s pretty and she pic spams her blog:

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And because this one makes me smile:

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9 thoughts on “Dragon Saber and Heavenly Sword finishes filming

  1. “And Deng Chao has both the looks and acting to pull it off.”

    I agree with cfensi. Deng is definitely not a looker… but his acting skills are super. His acting and overall charisma makes him a very interesting character, especially as Wu Ji. His movements are truly captivating. A sudden gasp, a slight whimper, a mischievous grin… is all it took for me to fall in love with his character.

  2. Hi idarklight, your pic comments are amusing. I would reserve judgement on a ZJZ movie – yes, his series are visually pretty, often with beautiful mood too, but aesthetics alone don’t make good movies. I haven’t really ever felt a essence to his series that proclaim it is ‘uniquely ZJZ’. He would need that for a movie.

    I love ZM up to the point she falls for ZWJ. It sort of doesn’t make sense, and seems like a childish “lets try something new like falling in love”. Such a waste of talent and emotion on a guy that I really believe loved no one but himself (with the exception of platonic love). I’ve written about it in spcnet…ZWJ was ‘traumatized’ in the romantic love department, especially concerning ‘pretty women’. I don’t particularly think his mother’s dying words were really that wise…teach your son to judge by looks and generalisation before you die, then again she was traumatized too by the revelations and her husband’s seeming disappointment in her. ZWJ poor kid…should end up with at least a funny, dysfunctional family like the Simpsons. Heh…

  3. While I think Zhang Jizhong has excellent cinematography and generally good role choices, he tends to drag on a little. Most of the stories he pick are so long that there’s no way he’ll be able to shorten them to movie-length.

  4. Hmmm…is there any Youtube May 2009 update of this latest Zhang Jizhong’s production? I wonder why a genius like Zhang Jizhong does not produce and direct epic movies, in addition to TV serials? I bet Director Zhang’s movies will rival other movie greats like Zhang Yimou, Lee Ang, Yuen Wo Ping, Tsui Hark. From Three Kingdoms, Water Margin, Condor Heros, Tian Long Ba Bu to Return of Condor Heros, Director Zhang’s works ARE UNMATCHED. I am SO SO HUGE FAN of his works. It is tragic that no movie studios have funded his move into movie-making yet. Alas! What a loss :(

  5. I guess charisma is the more correct term. I didn’t really like his character in Happiness is like a flower, but I enjoyed watching him. That’ll probably be the case here.

    Wuji is easy to like, but hard to love. He’s not a bad person, and he does care for a lot of people. He just sort of fails at life. There was this other interview of the three girls asking if they would fall for someone like Wuji in real life, and all of them said never.

    I think in this drama, most of the girls (and Yang Xiao) are much more liked than Wuji. I personally dislike Zhao Min for the same reason that I disliked Wuji – they gave up their family and nation for “love” without having a truly worthwhile, “jing tian dong di,” love like that of Yang Guo and Xiaolongnv. And Zhou Zhiru was just crazy. My favorite “main” characters are Xiao Zhao, Zhu’er, Yang Buhui and Ji Xiaofu. They had selfless loves, and they never wavered in the face of adversity.

  6. “And Deng Chao has both the looks and acting to pull it off.”

    I never thought Deng Chao has the looks, but he’s always made me like watching his characters a lot with his charisma. Although I don’t know if he can make Zhang Wuji likeable. His personality is completely opposite from what I feel Deng Chao is like, and his wishy-washyness is never charming. Maybe Deng Chao can do the impossible and turn that around while still staying true to the character?

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