Compared to the recent remake of Return of the Condor Heroes, I surprisingly have very little expectations for this remake of Demi-Gods and Semi Devils. My favorite version has always been Zhang Ji Zhong's 2003 adaptation because of Hu Jun's Qiao Feng and Liu Tao' A'zhu. But since this newer adaptation is adding more screen time to the Qiao Feng and A'zhu story arc, I'm definitely on board the ship to catch a glimpse when it airs next week on December 22.
To learn more about Qiao Feng and A'zhi, check out the related post below:
Tribute to Various Versions of Qiao Feng and A'zhu in Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
To be honest, Wallace Chung isn't actor I had in mind to play the rugged and reluctant hero, Qiao Feng. His features are too soft to give me a strong physical image of this great northern martial art leader with "wolf-blood," the association Han people gave to the "barbaric" Kitan tribe. But hey, I should not complain since the casting decision could have been a lot worse than having Wallace Chung play Qiao Feng. In fact, I am more bother by his hideous beggar costumes than the casting decision. Qiao Feng is the leader of the Beggar Sect, but the costume designer seriously did not have follow his title to the literal sense.
Anyway, the surprise beauty in this new version is Jia Qing, who plays two important characters, A'zhu and A'zhi, a pair of sisters separated at birth.Note, the sisters are not supposed to be twins in the story. The sisters would eventually end up falling in love with Qiao Feng, albeit at different times. Another note, this story isn't cliche.
I am actually quite ecstatic that the director decided to cast the same actress to play both A'zhu and A'zhi. A'zhu died too early in the story and I felt her story with Qiao Feng ended too abruptly when it barely just begun. In my wildest imagination, I always wanted A'zhu to get revived from the dead and rekindle her romance with Qiao Feng. No matter the costs, I just want Qiao Feng, at minimum, to reunite with an A'zhu lookalike and continue to yearn for his lost love. Unfortunately, dead people usually don't come back alive unless I want to watch a zombie movie.
I know some people may see this story as borderline incest, I am somehow emotionally removed from this association. A'zhi and A'zhu may be two different individuals, but in my mind they are intertwined in a metaphysical sense. Since the younger sister A'zhi is also played by Jia Qing, I can pretend A'zhi is A'zhu's evil reincarnated self. This is literally transforming my wild imagination into TV reality. LOL! Even though the two sisters are polar opposites of each other in temperament, I still do not mind the director taking the liberty in changing the canon of the original story for my own personal selfish reasons. ;D
Latest teaser trailer "Love Chapter"
If you would like to learn more about the story of A'zhu and Qiao Feng, you can check out this fanmade MV of the 2003 version.