The number one thing I am scare of with any new upcoming Jin Yong adaptation, or any martial arts/wuxia -ish adaptations is its CGI. Look I love CGI as much as the next guy, but I came to watch CDrama because it tends to have more authentic fighting scenes than KDrama. I am pretty sike that there is not much CGI in this one, yes there’s a lot but like compare to a modern drama, there’s not much CGI! I guess that’s a good thing, and the scenery look gorgeous too. The last thing I’m afraid of is the accuracy this adaptation has to the book. I know in adaptations, it is desirable for the director to add in some new modern flavors. But like, uh really…. Yang Xiao with a big bird….. Wow is he Yang Guo in Return of the Condor Heroes or something? Also he looks more like Lu Xiao Feng with his martial arts (the scene where he catches a sabre between two fingers) than Yang Xiao.
I have several qualms with the casting also. The Zhang San Feng character, I don’t know if Wang Deshun can pull it off… Zhang San Feng is suppose to look jolly-ish and wise, this guy look utterly serious 24/7. The Fan Yao character, play by Zong Feng Yan…. He is known to play the evil guy 24/7 so much that whenever I see his face I think of evil guy. Fan Yao is not an evil guy (at least not in the book….. oh no are they gonna make him evil…) so I do have some doubts whether Feng Yan can pull off the good guy role before he goes back to being evil in the next Return of the Condor Heroes adaptation. It seem like none of the adaptations so far seem to get the Xiao Zhao character right…. She’s suppose to be like white (she is described to have blue eyes in the book), we have Kabby Hui in this adaptation, she is not white….. Or maybe she is whasian who knows but she certaintly do not have blue eyes…. Maybe she can wear some blue contacts eh?
Overall though, I am actually excited for this adaptation, it seem to be one where there might be some authentic fighting scenes, something that hasn’t been seen in a while. I’m glad they didn’t amp up CGI on the palm fighting scene between Wuji and the two Xuan ming Elders (Zhao Min bodyguards). I think Zhu Xu Dan is perfect for Zhou Zhi Ruo role, after she pull off Xuan Nu in Ten Miles Peach Blossom. Many people has expressed doubts with Joseph Zheng being cast for the main role, but to be honest after watching him in Please Take My Brother Away I am confident that he can actually act, but we’ll see what he can do.