Last September, the worst news came when the upcoming Heaven Official’s Blessing 天官赐福 drama adaptation aka Eternal Faith 吉星高照 was just a couple months into filming with reports that China’s broadcasting regulator NRTA may be axing the highly popular genre of dangai (adaptations based on danmei aka boys’ love novels). As recently as this year, there were reports that Beijing Municipal Radio and Television Bureau held a similar stance in a meeting where its director Yang Shuo called to put a stop to idol survival shows and dangai. These come as part of the Qinglang campaign against toxic fan culture that has shown how chasing stars can sometimes go out of hand.
While there has been no specific directive on the future of BL adaptations, it seems that there’s at least some good news with this latest update. On January 15, Zhai Xiaowen took to social media with a photo of a hat, sword and bandages that fans will recognize as belonging to Xie Lian who is the main character in HOB. Zhai Xiaowen writes, “Wish you all the best of luck in this journey.” His studio also shared photos of him celebrating the completion of filming after seven months.
The 22-year-old former R1SE member has starred in dramas like Dear Parents and Falling Into Your Smile. Eternal Faith is his first drama as the main protagonist alongside co-star Zhang Linghe. I’m really happy to hear that the series was able to film despite the uncertainty surrounding BL adaptations. Now the next biggest hurdle after it has completed post-production will be to see if it can pass censorships to secure an airdate and if so, whether the story will remain the same.