The upcoming drama adaptation of Wu Geng Ji 武庚纪 has started announcing its cast yesterday. Surprisingly, however, only Allen Ren Jialun’s name is indicated as the show’s starring lead. Noticeably absent on the casting announcement? The name of actress Li Yitong who has long been rumoured to co-star opposite Ren Jialun. Granted, whilst the show is mostly all about the hero, industry insiders claim that Li Yitong was cast as his heroine. Yet yesterday’s official announcement seems to prove otherwise.
Initially, people thought that perhaps the production will be making two separate announcements to reveal its male and female leads. However, up until press time, only the announcement of Ren Jialun’s casting is reflected on its official account.
Quitting the Show After Casting Snub
Late last night, Li Yitong’s team finally responded after rumours continued to fly over the snub. In a lengthy post, they first confirmed the actress was indeed cast to play the role of Bai Cai and thanked the producers of Wu Geng Ji for their recognition.
They said Li Yitong has been fully committed to the project’s success. Not only did she turn down other projects whose filming schedules overlapped Wu Geng Ji’s timelines, she was also diligently studying up about her character, the script and the story’s origins. Aside from this, her Studio said they also kept mum on the various slander circulating online against her from comments calling her a drama queen and some accusing her of wanting more screen time despite the story being more about the hero’s journey. However, with the project’s success as their priority, they said they didn’t make a fuss about it anymore.
That’s why they said they were pretty blindsided about how things panned out. “To this day, we have no knowledge of the production’s marketing and promotion strategies, nor did we receive any heads-up. Things have veered away from the beautiful vision we had when we first agreed to work together, making it difficult for us to move forward with a sincere heart.”
Therefore, they announced that “in the future, Ms Li Yitong will no longer continue on to play the heroine on the TV adaptation of Wu Geng Ji. We wish the production of Wu Geng Ji a smooth filming”.
A Show of Support for Li Yitong
Meanwhile, the actress received support from Wang Yixu, CEO of the production company Stellar 恒星引力 which was behind Love Between Fairy and Devil. Li Yitong played Si Ming whose story many are hoping to see a spinoff of. He publicly praised the actress for her professionalism and skill. “Everyone in the industry knows that she’s low-key and quite a team player who always thinks out-of-the-box and who is afraid of causing trouble for others. Such a good actor deserves a sincere treatment from major players in the industry!” he said.
What’s more, the producer shared that back in August, he had invited her to star in a new fantasy series. She told him she actually had another project that she had prepare for so he said he’d wait until next year. He said that the timing is just right now which is why he immediately sent a new script over to her. Stellar has previouslly announced their plans to build on the LBFaD world with two more dramas also said to be based on Jiu Lu Fei Xiang’s works.
Likewise, even screenwriter-producer Yu Zheng wrote a post in Li Yitong’s support. “..Tong Tong, your acting skills, your uniqueness which can be found nowhere else in the world, you are worthy of all great scripts. … Turn to the next page, a new day begins! Love you!”