Wong Jing “Swordsman” Film Reboot Featuring New Dongfang Bubai Hit by Skepticism

Zhang Yuqi
Left: Brigitte Lin in her now iconic role of Dongfang Bubai and Right: Zhang Yuqi / Weibo

The 1992 classic Legend of the Swordsman 笑傲江湖之東方不敗 (or Swordsman II) is getting a Wong Jing reboot. Filming for the project has just begun, yet it seems the project is already being hit by criticism from skeptical viewers. The adaptation’s most recent version stars Chinese actress Kitty Zhang Yuqi as Dongfang Bubai, the persona famously portrayed by Brigitte Lin. However, Brigitte’s version of the androgynous character was so iconic that it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the same role.

The 1992 film version starred other famous names like Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan and Michelle Reis. Many consider this onscreen adaptation of Louis Cha’s The Smiling, Proud Wanderer a classic. No surprises then why the newest reboot was met with raised eyebrows. Of course, the fact that the producer-director’s most recent adaptations of Kung Fu Cult Master didn’t exactly fare well amongst audiences also didn’t help things along. Part 1 and Part 2 of New Kung Fu Cult Master garnered a mere 3.6 on Douban. Remember how he even had to defend his choice of actresses since Netizens said they looked “too plastic”. So why then mess with another classic, many asked.

Whether the reboot works out in the end (or not) we’ll just have to wait and see. Hopefully though, the newest version will be able to do the original version some justice. The main protagonist Linghu Chong will be played by Tim Huang Xiyan who was part of this summer’s hit film Creation of the Gods. Actress Xuan Lu takes on th role of Ren Yingying.

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