Steampunk fantasy “Three Kingdoms” set for adaptation

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How much do you want to bet that none of the leads will be Asian?

Ken Liu’s steampunk (or as he calls it, silkpunk) fantasy epic series, The Dandelion Dynasty, has been picked up for a film adaptation by DMG, which has brought rights to the first three books.

The series is loosely based on the Chu-Han contention, and is modeled after the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.  According to Variety, adaptation of the first in the series, The Grace of Kings, is currently being fast-tracked.

P.S. In case you’re wondering why the name sounds familiar, Nebula and Hugo winner Ken Liu is the English translator for The Three Body Problem.

Most Popular Cdramas Online from 2009 Onward

When judging the popularity of television dramas, the go-to statistic has always been the drama’s ratings (收视率). Also known as audience measurement or television viewership, a drama’s ratings show how many people tuned in — the higher the number, the more people turned on their TVs to catch the latest episode.

With the rapid development of new media, however, ratings can no longer illustrate the entire picture when it comes to drama popularity. More and more, people are turning to online streaming or downloading in order to get their drama fix, which means a shift in criteria may be necessary.

Recently, Sina published a list of findings from Vlinkage, a Shanghai-based consulting company that monitors data regarding videos and new media in China. Founded in 2012, Vlinkage has amassed what they call China’s most complete information database on actors, movies, and TV dramas, which they then use to evaluate the entertainment market.

In their article, Vlinkage lists 48 dramas that have received more than 1 billion views online. To put this in perspective, that’s how many views Psy‘s “Gangnam Style” MV reached on YouTube five months after it was uploaded. That’s one video. This is 48 dramas, and the one topping the list has almost 7 billion views.

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The New Water Margin and Journey to the West Series casted

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This picture made me laugh. It's okay Yan Kuan. You don't need to bulk up for your role in Water Margin as long as you ditch the facial hair.

Warning: Lots of Fangirling ahead because I couldn’t manage to write this without spazzing.

China’s really hitting the four classics this year. Two Journey to the Wests, two Dream of the Red Chambers, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and now even Water Margin has been pushed into production. But China’s drama industry rose pretty quickly in technique and visuals, so in that regard remakes are almost looked to. And apart from the cheap version of Journey of the West, I love the casts quite a lot so I’m happy. Two pretty Jia Baoyus, a hot Zhu Geliang, a hot Tang Shen, and now a shuai, hot, shuai dai le Yan Qing. Do I sound shallow enough yet? I hope so. The amount of eye-candy’s too great for one girl to handle. Share my enthusiasm!

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HQ Stills from The New Three Kingdoms Drama

Despite the economic downturn, it seems that Chinese TV dramas are still plunging ahead with bigger and bigger budgets. Admist a lineup of already opulent productions for 2009 including The Legend of Bruce Lee and Dream of the Red Chamber, a new drama adaptation of the Three Kingdoms has already an estimated 100 million yuan budget (around 14 million USD), the highest budget for any drama ever made in China. Even its fairly famous cast, including Lu Yi, Peter Ho, Chen Hao, Ruby Lin, Victor Huang, and Nie Yuan, and what it must have cost to pay them,  does not seem to have affected the quality of the production.

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This seems to be the scene where Zhao Yun (played by Nie Yuan) retrieves the infant A Dou. More below, along with a little information on who is playing what. Click on each for bigger.

Edit: This seems so out of place next to the happy Alan/Wei Chen picture.

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First Look at the Newest Adaptation of Three Kingdoms

Yesterday, the actors in costume were revealed for their respective roles. The cast list boasts impressive names, that is if you like young hotties. While nobody is quite a teeny-bopper idol (most being in their early thirties), the list still certainly screams “idol series”. Poor sage and master strategist Zhuge liang has been getting younger and younger, having first been played by Takeshi Kaneshiro in the movie Red Cliff and now by baby-faced Lu Yi who’s yet to crack a smile in any of the press photos. Why so glum Lu Yi? This actually marks an improvement from the most recent roles you’ve done.

This marks the second series in production of one of China’s Four Great Novels, the other being Dream of the Red Chamber, who’s reception has been more of a mixed bag, mixed referring to the mix of insults towards not only the horrific outfits but also the young, unknown and unexperienced cast.

From L to R, Lu Yi as Zhu Geliang, Victor Huang as Zhou Yu, Nie Yuan as Zhao Yun, Chen Hao as Diao Chan and Peter Ho with a ‘stache and glare juxtaposed to give quite a ridiculous/endearing look. Take Your pick. Ruby Lin although not pictured, is playing Sun Shangxiang.