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.