The new version of Heavenly Sword Dragon Slaying Sabre 倚天屠龙记, and is helmed by Jeffrey Chiang, the director of last year’s well-received Legend of the Condor Heroes 2017 (my first reaction to the news was that Deng Chao’s version was only a couple of years ago, until I remembered it aired way back in 2009).
Zeng Shunxi has been cast as male lead Zhang Wuji, though he clearly lacks the skills to bring the character to life. I have higher hopes for Tang Yan’s new employee Chen Yuqi, who was serviceable in Princess Weiyoung.
The story begins with the prophecy that whoever wields the Dragon Slaying Saber and Heavenly Sword will rule the world. Zhang Wuji’s parents Zhang Cuishan (Li Dongxue) and Yin Susu commit suicide after refusing to reveal the location of the blade, which is currently in the possession of his godfather Xie Xun (Hei Zi).
Some years later, Zhang Wuji finds himself in an isolated valley, and masters a set of powerful inner energy skills. He becomes the leader of the unorthodox Ming Cult, and later supports the rebellions against the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. Aside from Mongol princess Zhao Min, Zhang Wuji also becomes romantically entangled with the Emei Sect’s Zhou Zhiruo, Persian princess Xiao-Zhao and his cousin Yin Li / Zhu’er.
Kathy Chow, who played Zhou Zhiruo in the 1994 remake, will be playing Zhiruo’s teacher Miejue. Fan Siu-wong plays Xie Xun’s mentor Cheng Kun, Wang Deshun plays Zhang Wuji’s grandfather and leader of the Wudang Sect Zhang Sanfeng and Yang Mingna plays the Golden Flower Granny.