Not caving into the recent trend of looking to Japan for inspiration for Tang Dynasty aesthetics is a focus of the drama, how well do the first stills do?
Aiming to be a panorama of early Tang dynasty life, the latest Yu Zheng-produced drama features merchants, pirates, the military, and princes finding love and success in the early Tang dynasty. Based on the script by author Fengnong, Journey of a Tang Dynasty Woman大唐女儿行 began filming earlier this month with a young cast consisting of Xu Kai (The Legends) , Li Yitong (Bloody Romance), Tan Jianci (Secrets of the Three Kingdoms) , Fan Shiqi (Where the Lost Ones Go), Wu Jiayi ( Untouchable Lovers), and Jiang Mengjie (Sword Master) . The series has already been brought by Hong Kong channel TVB.
Xu Kai plays Cheng Chumo, the son of Cheng Yaojin and a profligate youth who chooses to make a name for himself after falling in love with Fu Rou (Li Yitong). While he goes to fight pirates in the open waters, Fu Rou leaves behind her merchant family to become a master weaver in the palace. There, she meets Prince Li Ke (Tan Jianci) and Marines General Yan Zifang and becomes entangled in the fight for the Crowned Prince. Fan Shiqi plays Cheng Chumo’s brother while Wu Jiayi plays his love interest, the Princess Qinghe. Ma Yue and Miao Pu play the Emperor Li Shimin and the Empress Zhangsun. Together, the protagonists must fight on all fronts to save their families and the future of the Tang Dynasty.
Yin Zheng and Huang Xiaoming play a pair of starcrossed lovers (?) in the latest drama by Yu Zheng.
Producer Yu Zheng makes his foray in adapating boylove novels withWinter Begonia 鬓边不是海棠红, a Peking opera romance period piece no doubt inspired by Goodbye, My Concubine. Although the series will be written by the author of the original novel, it’s uncertain how shippy the drama will actually be. The series stars Huang Xiaoming, Yin Zheng, Charmaine Sheh , Merxat, and Liu Min.
Set in the 1930’s, the series follows displaced Peking Opera performer Shang Xirui (Yin Zheng) as he moves to Beijing to remake his name. In his quest to make a name for himself and reinvent Peking Opera, he captures the eyes of Cheng Fengtai (Huang Xiaoming), a businessman who becomes enthralled by the world of opera. With the help of Cheng Fengtai, Shang Xirui is able to rebuild his old opera troupe and train a group of new talents. When the Japanese army takes of Beijing in 1937, the two must struggle between preserving the art that they love and the city that they love.
Yu Zheng‘s romance historical drama has a new English title in Untouchable Lovers 凤囚凰 and recently released its first stills and a preview. Rising young actress Guan Xiaotong (Castle in the Sky) replaced Yang Rong as female lead Liu Chuyu / Zhu Que, and Song Weilong (Long For You) took over the role of Rong Zhi from Merxat.
Some of these images actually have really interesting details you can go looking for.
Zhaoge 朝歌 released stills. Starring Zhang Zhehan, Bao Jianfeng, Lin Youwei, Wu Jiayi, and Liu Mintao, those interested in the stylized costuming from last post can get a look at the actual costumes in action.
At least some of Yu Zheng’s tactics towards doing things seems to have changed. In the past, we would have been drowning in images by now.
Zhaoge 朝歌 released character designs a while ago and I thought I would share. Starring Zhang Zhehan, Bao Jianfeng, Lin Youwei, Wu Jiayi, and Liu Mintao, based on these images, this seems to be a stylized take on the era.
A Tale of Two Phoenixes 凤囚凰 is preparing to start filming. Based on the novel of the same name by Tianyi Youfeng 天衣有风 and produced by Yu Zheng. He has stated that Yang Rong and new actor Merxat will be playing the leads Chuyu and Rongzhi respectively, though knowing Yu Zheng, anything can change.
More character designs below the cut and (WARNING!) spoilers at the bottom of the post.
I don’t think an actual English title has been set in stone yet but given the time period this drama is set in, it is probably a reference to the capital city of the Shang Dynasty, Zhaoge.
Those who miss Yu Zheng‘s productions are in luck. Zhaoge 朝歌 has started filming. Starring Zhang Zhehan, Bao Jianfeng, Lin Youwei, Wu Jiayi, and Liu Mintao, the artwork so far looks fantastic but I guess with all Yu Zheng productions, we’ll have to wait until the final product to see if it suits your personal tastes.