A-lister Zhang Ziyi (Forever Young), who has worked exclusively in the film industry since her debut in 1999, is starring in upcoming historical romance drama Monarch Industry 江山故人 (one of the worst English titles I’ve ever seen). Zhou Yiwei (Entrepreneurial Age), her ‘mentee’ from variety show Birth of a Performer/Actor plays the male lead.
Wang Xuan / Ah Wu (Zhang Ziyi) is an intelligent young lady of the noble Wang clan who is born with the prophecy that “whoever enlists her will be able to rule the world” (not again), and is forced to marry Xiao Qi (Zhou Yiwei), a general from a humble background.
Initially a political union, it turns into a relationship built upon trust and love as Wang Xuan wholeheartedly supports her husband’s ambitions. Xiao Qi originally viewed his wife as a pawn in the bid for power, but is impressed by her political acumen and begins to treat her as his equal.
Forced apart due to the Empress Dowager’s schemes, Wang Xuan and Xiao Qi lead separate armies, eventually defeat the Southern rebels and unify the warring kingdoms, but must come to terms with the fact that the road to the pinnacle of power is bloody and filled with betrayal and deception. Wang Xuan is ultimately forced to choose between her husband’s conquest and the family she holds dear.
Confirmed supporting cast members include Yu Hewei (The Island) as the heroine’s father Wang Lin, Tony Yang (Monster Hunt 2) as Zidan, a prince who has no ambitions for the throne and Zuo Xiaoqing (My Bittersweet Taiwan) as Crown Princess Xie Wanru, Wang Xuan’s former best friend who turns against her after the Xie and Wang clans become sworn enemies.
Produced by the company behind the widely panned Song of Phoenix and written by new writer Luo Song and original author Meiyuzhe, the 80 episode drama started filming in late February, and is scheduled to broadcast next year on Zhejiang TV.