Yu Zheng Changes Yun Zhong Ge From Han Dynasty to Wuxia Premise

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the maestro of crazy himself producer-screenwriter Yu Zheng just dropped a nuclear bombshell on his upcoming adaptation of Yun Zhong Ge. With rumors flying that Tangren’s Da Mo Yao won’t get the green light to air unless it changes the ending (to align with history), plus Yu Zheng’s own dramas The King’s Woman and Female Prime Minister getting held up on approvals due to historical fudging, Yu Zheng has decided to be proactive and change the entire premise of YZG so he avoids the censor’s ire.

Rather than the main lead being Liu Fu Ling, the 5th Emperor of the Han Dynasty (his title was Emperor Zhao of Han), the entire story will be turned into a wuxia drama set in an unknown dynastic era and Ling ge ge will not be the reluctant ruler of a nation but instead the reluctant leader of a wuxia governing alliance (武林盟主). Yun Ge will also no longer be the daughter of Huo Qu Bing and Jin Yu, but is instead a desert orphan girl who travels to the central plains and gets embroiled in conspiracies, love triangles, and betrayals. Other than these two major character and setting changes, everyone and everything else stays the same and the story narrative will not be changed.

Here’s is the weibo in its entirety:

于正1978: 为了免去各种嫉妒、造谣、无中生有,#云中歌#将会是一部与历史人物无关的言情武侠剧,我们的云歌不再是霍去病的女儿,只是大漠孤女为寻爱无意卷入江湖纷争,而陵哥哥也只是个被迫上位的武林盟主,其余故事主线不变,所以请各家黑们绕道而行,这里已经没有你们期盼的热闹了!@于正工作室 @沈芷凝

Part of me wonders if what Yu Zheng said will really happen, or a knee jerk reaction with the recent heavy hand by the Chinese censors in restricting historical dramas that are not accurate if it involves real life historical figures. What does Tong Hua have to say about this? Does she have a vote to veto his change and take her novel back? Or is this change really so superficial and the same angst between Ling gege and Yun Ge can be moved from leader of an Empire to leader of Wulin?

There are some scenes in YZG that really seem more like a wuxia story from the onset. The martial arts competition with the Xi Yu prince and princess during the New Year celebration, the ice slide battle and rescue, the Infante of Guang Ling and his hunting hounds, Third Brother’s kickass arrival in Chang An, Yun Ge saving Meng Jue in the snowy canyon, Yu An protecting Yun Ge from the imperial guards outside of Liu Fu Ling’s tomb, etc. I can go on and one, but really Yun Ge and Meng Jue have always come across as very wuxia hero and heroine. She’s spunky and innocent, he’s tormented and singleminded.

Don’t stone me, but I’m a wuxia girl first and foremost and actually much prefer wuxia angst over political angst. If what Yu Zheng said is going to happen is true, then it’ll take quite a lot of creativity to shift the entire basis of the narrative, but I don’t think it’s impossible. Though how the heck does one become a reluctant leader of Wulin since that’s an elected position and a hard earned one at that. Oh well, I’m just sitting back and watching the fireworks fly right now, with fans of the novel literally threaten to disembowel Yu Zheng after hearing this.


Yu Zheng Changes Yun Zhong Ge From Han Dynasty to Wuxia Premise — 17 Comments

  1. Provided he can make it work, that is a great idea because I love wuxia but also because it avoids the crazy censorship stuff. I am still shocked YZ’s Gong got released…

    Though how his The King’s Woman is going to get through the censors boggles my mind – I mean, isn’t the central premise that Lu Zhi is a darling sweet gal who loves Xiang Yu? Not sure how you can make that historical…

    • Gong, BBJX – that was before the censors went berserk with their restrictions. I know you liked Gong, but Gong was sorta the horse that broke the camel’s back since it didn’t just change history, the personality of the historical figures were completely changed as well.

      I don’t mind what YZ wants to do, since it gets the novel made into a drama, but many fans of the novel want the novel never to get made unless it can be made while staying true to the story.

      • Thanks for the explanation!

        I loved Gong because it was pretty much period Hanadan, only with beheadings, but I can see why it got the censors riled up. (I am used to something similar from my childhood in the USSR – when you presented a historical person, it had to be done in an approved way and only approved way. Perhaps that is why I am allergic to it now).

        It seems odd censors are so strict on dramas and much less strict on novels, Da Mo Yao being the case in point – I can’t believe they are going to make the makers change the happy ending of the book, though I suppose ‘rocks fall’ is more in line with period cdramas anyway.

        I have never been a purist for any adaptation (case in point – love the Edward Norton version of The Painted Veil, which is very different from Somerset Maugham’s novel, which I also love) but being a purist is a hard hard road 🙂

  2. OMFG!
    That’s some crazy narrative change!
    I mean Yun Ge’s character hinges on her upbringing and the fact that she is the pampered youngest kid in the Huo family whose innocence and spunk touches both LFL and Meng Jue. If she ends up an orphan feral child then wouldn’t her character be more similar to her mom. Also her childhood meeting with the 2 male leads will have to be changed entirely too no?
    Sigh YZ has got to have some balls to pull this one off or else he’ll face the wrath of all the YZG’s fans and Tong Hua herself.

    • I don’t think Yun Ge would be a feral child like her mom. I think she’s maybe just a normal orphan. I dunno, but I agree that her character’s sheltered and pampered upbringing is critical to why LGG and MJ love her so much, for her innocence, kindness, and spirit.

  3. I actually think this might work too. And I’m a wuxia girl at heart too. Haha. Just hope they do a good job transferring the entire basis of the story.

  4. I like wuxia, definitely like the story of a wulin leader than a emperor more. Really, why does her parent need to be dead? Just change their name. I wonder if this is also why lots of novel writers rename their dynasty, states, and rulers.

  5. I really love Wuxia too. But if he’s going to do Wuxia the way he’s doing Xiao Ao Jiang Hu, then I really rather this novel not be remade. xD

  6. it’s not a bad idea if done right, but changing yunge’s background kind of changes 1/2 of who she is. And her background is also 1/2 of the secrets in the novel. One of the kick I get from YZG is when people find out about her background, or how extraordinary her background is that make her reluctantly entangles with the entire cast. It’s not mentioned a lot but I always like it how YunGe is related to the other main characters in more ways than she aware. It feel like it’s fate, that she meant to be that last piece of the puzzle.

  7. Well…a small bit of good news is Yu Zheng ain’t the scriptwriter for Yun Zhong Ge! The bad news is the scriptwriter is one of the female co-writers for a TVB series called Curse of the Royal Harem. But she got free reins in another YZ’s series called In Love with Power. I’m extremely curious about her creative writing talent.

  8. uhm.. i’m not entirely against wuxia style, like already said, it’s might be great if done right. the more disturbing news (for me) is the rumor bout da mo yao must change it’s ending.. is that means that HQB will died so that matched history, and yu er will end with Jiu ye?? *faace palmed* I do love Jiu Ye, but. Yu er & QB must have their happy ending!! noooo!!!!!

  9. If that is the case they might as well change the whole premise including the angst brought abt by the death of LFL? Though I guess Tong Hua’s fans would probably flare up?

  10. I love Wuxia but a lot of the richness of YZG for me was because of historical setting and how TH cleverly wove her story around two generations of actual figures and events. So, it is disappointing that YZG will now be just another wuxia drama (of which there are already many and some would argue better written in that genre). What was fascinating in both DMY and YZG was that TH sought to explain what she considered to be anomalies – the sudden and untimely deaths of two seemingly healthy and in HQB’s case, physically powerful men, in the prime of their lives. Surely efforts to curb poetic licence will eventually kill off all creativity. Such a pity!

  11. All I could understand from the post is censure and I hate this word (I don follow cdrama/mouvie).
    As dangermousie recall – I too lived in an censored-full country and I had to read/watch only what some “great minds” thought is best for me/population.

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