Three billion RMB trilogy Fengshen announces cast

Most leads for the films are newcomers who have trained for six months in horseback riding, martial arts, archery, drumming, ancient Chinese music and etiquette for the film.

Wu’ershan(Painted Skin 2)-directed fantasy epic trilogy Fengshen, loosely based on the Investiture of the Godshas released the first set of character posters. Other than Chen Kun, the trilogy will star Huang Bo as Jiang Ziya, Li Xuejian as King Wen of Zhou, Xia Yu as Shen Gongbao, Kris Phillips as King Zhou of Shang, and introduces newcomers Hai Liang as King Yin Jiao and Yu Shi as King Wu of Zhou.

With 2000 crew members and a budget of over 3 billion RMB (445 USD), the trilogy is China’s biggest pre-budgeted film series yet.

The film’s meticulous aesthetic draws on Song dynasty landscape paintings, 16th-century Daoist art and elements from the Bronze Age Shang and Zhou eras. Elaborately carved screens and lintels, delicate jade bowls, chariots, leather armor and weaponry fill the studio’s soundstages and storage rooms. 

“I wanted every piece to be museum-quality,” Wuershan says. “We developed everything ourselves via an analysis of Shang objects, so even though it looks very antique, it’s actually all original.” 

Variety interview with director Wu’ershan
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