I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get to this post, but believe me when I say that I’m eager for the premiere, and it’s tonight!
Heavenly Sword Dragon Slaying Saber 倚天屠龙记 is a 50-episode Chinese drama starring Joseph Zeng (Over The Sea I Come To You), Yukee Chen (Ashes of Love) and Bambi Zhu (Sweet Dreams). These three have paid their dues as supporting characters in bigger dramas that it’s rewarding to finally see them leading an ensemble cast. Though let’s face, it’s probably not the star power that is pushing this drama, but lingering nostalgia and confidence in a story based on a classic Jin Yong wuxia.
Joseph Zeng plays Zhang Wuji who experiences terrible tragedies as a young boy. In spite of it, he grows up to be an upstanding man and starts on a hero’s journey. Much of the plot is driven by the fight for the heavenly sword and dragon saber, and it also connects to a greater story about family, country and complicated romance(s). After all, Jin Yong has that tendency to make many women fall for his protagonists.
Yukee Chen and Bambi Zhu will play two of the most important women in Wuji’s life. Yukee plays the sassy Mongolian princess Zhao Min. I’ve loved Zhao Min in every adaptation and find Yukee to be perfect for the part.
After being introduced to Xuan Nu in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, I’d say that Bambi is also pretty darn perfect for the part of Zhou Zhiruo. They are supported by a cast that includes Kathy Chow (who is interestingly Zhou Zhiruo from the 90’s), Kabby Hui, Sun Anke, Cao Xiyue, Lin Yushen, Zhang Chaoren and Maggie Chen to name a few.
Good wuxia dramas feel scarce in comparison to the hit fantasy romance and palace dramas dominating the small screen in recent years, yet this 8th remake of the Jin Yong fan favorite holds a lot of promise. It is directed by Jeff Chiang who was generally lauded for his adaptation of Legend of the Condor Heroes. With all these things going for it, I’m really crossing my fingers that this doesn’t disappoint. I also pray they don’t overdo the CGI because then it’s not even fit to be called wuxia (martial arts) but xianxia (fantasy).
Release Date: February 27, 2019 Tencent (two episodes every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 8pm), members watch 6 episodes in advance
Vote for your favorite Chinese dramas in 2019.