Rumors on the upcoming Emperor’s Conquest have been going on for almost two years now, pitting top actress Zhang Ziyi with sought after actors like Chang Chen and Chen Kun. The last I heard suggested Hu Ge as a potential leading man even before he went on an indefinite hiatus from showbiz.
Since then, the show, which is based on a novel of the same name seems to have undergone a name change from Di Wang Ye 帝王业 to the more female empowered Di Feng Ye 帝凰业. Can we infer that it’ll be called Empress’ Conquest? It seems fitting as the novel seems like the archetype drama revolving around endless schemes and political struggles among women of the inner palace.
Pictures from a very low-key opening ceremony reveal that the drama has started filming though the whole production remains shrouded in mystery since it’s difficult to tell whether the leading lady really is Zhang Ziyi.
Assuming that it is her, this will be Zhang Ziyi’s first drama in her entire career. Upon the advice of Zhang Yimou who encouraged her to stay away from dramas after they did their first movie together in the 90’s, Zhang Ziyi has been strictly a film actress. The entertainment industry has changed so much since then, that it may actually be a good move for her to foray into dramas.
Zhou Yiwei is the latest in the list of rumored leading men. Zhang Ziyi has long been vocal about praising Zhou Yiwei’s talents as an actor, and they’ve previously worked together in paying tribute to the 1987 film Rouge starring the late Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung.