The Message (风声) is adapted from wartime novel, Sound of the Wind, written by Mai Jia. There was a film adaptation in 2009 with Zhou Xun and Li Bing Bing. The story takes place in 1941 after a series assassination attempts happened to high-ranking officials of the Japanese-controlled puppet government in Nanking. Five suspects were brought to a villa for further interrogation by the Chief officer of the Japanese Imperial Army who believed the assassinations were carried out by an Anti-Japan group who has a mole named “Old Ghost” from within.
A little behind but I finally laid eyes on the first set of stills for the new adaptation of Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils. I’m so jaded now. Looking at new adaptations of Jin Yong’s novels nowadays, I can’t help but sneeze out a laughter. I’m happy for some of the actors you know, being able to breathe life into some iconic characters, but at the same time, there’s a feeling of miscast as well. I know, too early to say.
I’ve been reading a lot of discussion since the last post about Tribes and Empires running out of money (true!) and who’s to blame. A lot of rumors. It’s hard to say. This is director Cao Dun’s first venture into ancient fantasy series so he is ambitious and has an artistic vision and didn’t realize many costly things. It’s hard to entirely blame him because he’s well-loved by the cast and we were all wow-ed by the first trailer Tribes dished out. Weren’t we? At least now many realize a good drama isn’t just about the directing but a combination of directing, writing, and acting. Whether or not Huang Xuan’s scenes were cut, we can’t verify, but I did watch Zhou Zi Wei’s interview where he admitted that he shot the drama and then was told they could only give him so much and he replied that he didn’t need to be paid because acting out emotional turbulence like Shuo Feng in itself is a mark in his acting career. The opportunity cannot be exchanged for money. So everyone in the cast suffers in one way or another, not just any one actor.
If they are lucky to get funding for another season, let this first season be a good lesson for the production company about budget management (!!).
So we only have one more week of Tribes and Empires totaling 75 episodes because they only shot up to Huang Xuan’s ascension to the throne. What will they do from here? I don’t know because it’s not a small project. The novel writer wrote on his weibo that he has big dreams for Tribes (on the level of Attack on Titan and Lord of the Rings) but the project lacks funding so he’s looking for ka-ching!
As of 12/26, the drama online views have hit 7 billions. 😀 Hunan has also sucked it up and will air Tribes starting 12/29 on TV.