During his recent livestream, Wong Jing who directed and wrote the screenplay for the 1993 wuxia film Kung Fu Cult Master addresses casting concerns over the New Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber 倚天屠龙记 movie that he is producing. After Raymond Lam was revealed to be the new Zhang Wuji, a character that was portrayed by international star Jet Li 27 years ago, many felt that it was a miscast because of Raymond’s age (he’s forty) and that the cast as a whole feels older in general.
Wong Jing defends his choice by explaining that he doesn’t feel that Raymond Lam is old. Because Zhang Wuji makes his appearance in his thirties, Raymond Lam’s age is just right. Wong Jing adds that Raymond is skilled at fighting.
When the cast was announced, Wong Jing had intentionally left out the actress who will be playing Xiaozhao, a character of Chinese-Persian descent. There were rumors that it would be Dilraba Dilmurat which Wong Jing has denied. There were also rumors that Chingmy Yau’s teenage daughter Shum Yuet who has yet to break into the entertainment industry will succeed her mother’s role as Xiaozhao in the movie. Wong Jing’s response, “I think I will use a professional actor.”
The New Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber movie is expected to be darker than the 1993 version. Zhang Wuji obtains the Nine Yang Manual and returns to Ice Fire Island where he masters the martial arts technique under his godfather Xie Xun’s guidance. Zhang Wuji learns the way of the king because only in becoming king can he take revenge on his enemy. The journey takes Zhang Wuji 20 years and by the time he returns to Bright Peak, he is already in his thirties.