So, it looks like Linmon Media’s joint project with a South Korean team for the Korean adaptation of xianxia series Going Back in Time 溯洄 is a bust. Earlier, the production company released their 2023-2024 international line-up where they also confirmed they will be working with teams from South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, etc. While collaborations and crossovers have certainly been done before, C-Netizens raised a lot of objection specifically towards the news that the Chinese company will be working with its Korean counterpart to produce a xianxia series. Some were very concerned that this could result in the “loss or even misappropriation” of Chinese culture.
For the most part, Netizens pointed out that xianxia is rooted on China’s unique historical and cultural heritage and the lasting influence of Taoist ideals in Chinese culture. Hence, they feel that collaborating with a Korean production company for a xianxia is completely unnecessary. Others meanwhile are more concerned about Chinese elements being misappropriated. Some even provided comparisons as “proof” and brought up the endless debate between C-Netz and K-Netz over traditional costumes, etc.
Sharing Traditional Chinese Culture to the World
Initially, Linmon tried to appease objections when they released a statement promising that they will control the entire production process. “Linmon will also lead the development of the Korean version as well as adaptations in other languages.” They also affirmed they will be taking the lead in shouldering the responsibility of spreading traditional Chinese culture to the world. Lauding the original work of Going Back in Time as excellent, they also expressed their optimism about its potential for future adaptations and the possibility of its theme being picked up globally as “Chinese stories are worth sharing to the world”.
However, three hours after releasing that statement, the company appears to have buckled down to public pressure with a brand new statement declaring that they’re axing the project. “We hear you and we value your feedback. We’ve decided to discontinue the development and filming of the international version of the Chinese story ‘Going Back in Time’. The original intention of shooting multiple adaptations was to spread Chinese culture to the world, but the process needs to be considered carefully. Our sincerest apologies to everyone. Linmon will work with everyone to protect our traditions and culture.”
Going Back in Time tells the story of a fairy who was betrayed by a man and lost her home. In desperation, she goes back a millennia ago (hence the title) to set things right and seek revenge against him. It is adapted from a novel (和男主同归于尽后) by Hua Qi (画七). Meanwhile, the author also took to social media to reveal that the global copyrights for the TV and online series have been sold to Linmon Media. She wrote, “After negotiation, it has been decided that filming for the overseas version will be terminated. We are all Chinese.”