Wu Lei, also known as the nation’s little brother, hasn’t been having the greatest year. With Asura flopping in the box office, he had two more dramas for the summer. His second drama Battle Through the Heavens 斗破苍穹 started airing on on Hunan TV last week, but feedback has not been good.
Prior to Battle Through the Heavens, Martial Universe starring Yang Yang is another drama based from another Tiancan Tudou’s novel that was released early August. Being the more popular of the two Tiancan Tudou novels, expectations were higher for Battle Through the Heavens, so it’s disappointing that both seem to be fall short.
Wu Lei’s ability to portray the main character Xiao Yan is said to be way off the mark from the depiction in the novel. It is not only Wu Lei‘s acting ability that is being scrutinized but there were complains that the clothes didn’t fit the actors well, there were too many side characters and that the storyline deviated too much from the novel. Fans are aware that adaptations have a tendency to make changes, but many wondered about the need for such drastic differences when the original was good enough. It is also not fantasy-like for a fantasy drama.
Tiancan Tudou took to Weibo to praise Wu Lei‘s interpretation of Xiao Yan with a caption saying – Every reader will have his/her version of Xiao Yan. In his opinion, Wu Lei did a good job and he is looking forward to seeing more of Wu Lei‘s Xiao Yan.
Wu Lei admits that the plot may have changed but the essence of the novel and its characters are still the same. I guess he should know since the actor is a fan of the novel himself. While the then-17-year old Wu Lei is close in age with the character, he reveals that he was a bit anxious to play Xiao Yan and wondered what the fans of the novel would feel after watching the drama.
I think there is immense pressure on the part of the adaptation especially when there’s a cult following, but it definitely is possible. What do you think of the adaptation?