Okay, so if I told any reader of The Smiling Proud Wanderer novel that the picture above is a scene from Yu Zheng‘s upcoming adaptation The Swordsman, I bet 99% of the people will say “Oh, that’s a scene with Linghu Chong and Ren Ying Ying! They look so perfect together and quite suitable for the character.” Maybe 1% might think the girl is Yue Ling Shan. But I even if the entire polling pool was high, no one will think “Oh, that’s Dong Fang Bu Bai with Linghu Chong.” Buh? Yu Zheng, are you really that blind?
I’m not a Chen Qiao En fan but all her female looking stills from The Swordsman scream Yue Ling Shan to me. She would have nailed it – the icy hauteur masking her loneliness and girlish heart. Why why why is this casting instead my AU dreams? Following along with the production of The Swordsman is like a woman going to a male stripper show – cringing yet strangely scintillating. Check out the latest batch of new stills to sate your own curiosity. This drama is so colorful I wonder if Yu Zheng is dipping everyone in technicolor. I feel my interest in this hot mess growing a tiny bit each time I see something new.
Let’s start with some Linghu Chong. I’m still being wowed by Wallace Huo in how hot he looks. It’s weird, it’s like the switch has flipped for him (and how I perceive him). He’ll be the main reason I’m not going to completely write off this adaptation at this stage. And Han Dong as Tian Buo Guang is decent, but nothing to write home about. Hope his performance brings this character to life.
I have to concede that Yuan Shan Shan is looking much better here than she did in Gong 2, where I thought her face was exchanged for some Frankensteined version of her old self. She’s still odd looking, but at least she doesn’t make me automatically cringe when I see her anymore. Or maybe I’ve just grown used to her. I hope her acting ratchets up a notch here, because Ren Ying Ying is such a different persona in front of Linghu Chong and then the rest of the world and I need to see the dichotomy.
First look at the third female lead our little nun Yi Lin. She’s cute enough. I don’t care either way since she’s such a meh character to me. Decent but not terribly interesting.
Check out the cute new stills of the secondary OTP of Yue Ling Shan and Lin Ping Zhi. They are way too adorable together. I forget that spoiled little Yue Ling Shan really did love that idiot with all her heart. Too bad he couldn’t reciprocate it sincerely. Oh well, his loss. There has only ever been a portrayal of Yue Ling Shan that captured the reason why Linghu Chong loved her so much, and that was Jamie Chik back in ’84. Everyone else plays her like a shrill spoiled bitch.
Yang Rong as Yue Ling Shan also seems to have nice chemistry with Wallace as Linghu Chong.
Since we’ve already seen Wallace all dolled up to also play Yang Lian Ting in this drama, it’s time to check out Chen Xiao‘s Lin Ping Zhi after the transformation. Voila! Pretty. How could his wifey not suspect something is seriously up with her husband is all I’m saying. Leave it to Yu Zheng to slather on the eyeshadow, LOL.
Finally, some more stills of Dong Fang Bu Bai. The girly version is so insanely pretty. Makes me wonder why Chen Qiao En waited so long to do a period wuxia drama. Aside from being the perfect Ren Ying Ying, I would actually cast her as Su Rong Rong if there was ever another adaptation of Gu Long’s Chor Lau Heung.
[Credit: all pictures from Yu Zheng workshop]