Legend of Ru Yi: New Poster & Casting Updates for the Zhen Huan Sequel

Chinese DramasDrama News / Upcoming Dramas

New Poster Released

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Legend of Ru Yi (Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace/Hou Gong: Ru Yi Zhuan), the sequel to the hit Chinese drama Legend of Zhen Huan, released a new poster featuring the leads Zhou Xun and Wallace Huo.  The aesthetics of the poster are a marked improvement from the posters for its predecessors.  I mean, it is definitely a step up from this:

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Compared to the previous posters for Legend of Zhen Huan, I’m surprised that this poster looks a lot more romantic and…optimistic.  I thought it’d look more intense and dramatic, alluding to the tumult of palace life.  But considering the English tagline “Besieged love of the imperial marriage” and the sad story of Zhou Xun’s character, I doubt the happy times will last in the drama.  That being said, Zhou Xun & Wallace Huo look great together in this poster.


Vivian Wu takes on the role of Empress Dowager in Sun Li’s stead

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^Vivian Wu / Sun Li (left to right)

Sun Li will not be reprising her role as Zhen Huan/Empress Dowager in this sequel.  Darn!  I thought she’d appear since she showed up as old-Zhen Huan in the new scenes in Empresses in the Palace!  Instead, Vivian Wu (Wu Jun Mei) will be taking up the role as Empress Dowager.  Vivian Wu is known for her roles in films including The Joy Luck Club and The Last Emperor.  I always remember her in the powerful scene “I want a divorce” from The Last Emperor:

Though I’m disappointed Sun Li won’t be back as Zhen Huan, I’m curious to see how Vivian Wu will tackle the role.  I also wonder how much of a role Zhen Huan will play in the sequel.  And, will the styling team make an effort to make Vivian Wu look like Sun Li’s Zhen Huan?  (For example, by having her wear the same hairstyle old-Zhen Huan wore in Empresses in the Palace?)


More cast members revealed

Team Ruyi (Protagonists)

Janine Chang as Hailan, Noble Consort Yu

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I was excited when I found out that Taiwanese actress Janine Chang has joined the cast!  Janine has been starring in more period c-dramas as of late.  Most recently she was a supporting actress in Empress of China (see the still above) and a main character in The Four.  I’ve never seen Janine in a Qing Dynasty drama before so I’m looking forward to her role.

Janine will be playing Hailan, or Noble Consort Yu.  In the drama, Hailan is Ruyi’s good friend.  She gains prominence in the inner palace after giving birth to the Emperor’s favorite son.  Hailan remains loyal to Ruyi even after her death by serving justice to Ruyi’s opponent, Wei Yanwan.  It seems like Hailan will be similar to Mei Zhaung from LZH.

In history, she started out as Hongli’s concubine, and then became changzai Hai after Hongli became emperor.  She gave birth to the emperor’s 5th son–the emperor’s favorite.  Unfortunately, she lost the emperor’s favor after her son died.  Her title Noble Consort Yu was given to her after her death.

Amy Chen Haoyu–Yehenara Yihuan, Consort Shu

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Yihuan is one of the few people on Team Ruyi.  She is a good friend of Ruyi’s, and entered the palace based on the Empress Dowager’s recommendation.  Despite her good nature, the Emperor never trusts her because he sees her as one of the Empress Dowager’s people.

 Zhang Jianing as Balin Meiruo, Noble Consort Xin

She becomes Ruyi’s good friend; maybe their friendship formed out of their mutual enemies Wei Yanwan and Jin Yuyan.

Jing Chao–Ling Yunche

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Jing Chao is a guard in the palace.  Although he is initially in love with one of Ruyi’s enemies, he becomes one of Ruyi’s good friends.  He also develops feelings for her.   He is later castrated after being accused of cheating with Ruyi.


Antagonists

Dong Jie as Fucha Langhua / Empress Xiao Xian Chun, the First Empress Consort

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Dong Jie has been in a number of c-dramas, but I haven’t seen any of her roles before.  She is known for her debut role in Zhang Yimou’s film Happy Times as well as in the drama The Story of a Noble Family.

In history, Fucha (or Fuca) became the Qianlong Emperor’s first empress consort.  She was given the title Empress Xiao Xian.  The Empress had a good reputation as a virtuous and dutiful empress, and was well favored by the emperor.  She died after falling ill, leaving behind 4 children.  The Emperor was heartbroken and mourning over her death.

In the drama, Fucha is totally different!  She is one of the antagonists who is against both Ruyi and the Empress.  She vies to become Empress and teams up with another concubine to target Ruyi.

Li Chun–Wei Yanwan, Imperial Noble Consort Ling

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Wei Yanwan is yet another villain who is behind Ruyi’s death, as well as the deaths of other concubines and their children.  She also dumps her first love (Ling Yunche) after the emperor takes an interest in her.  It seems like she’s on a similar level of villain-ness to the Empress from LZH.

Historically, Wei Yanwan became Empress Xiaoyichun. She was never empress when she was actually alive.  She was only granted the title of empress after her death, when her son became the next emperor.  Though she wasn’t empress in her lifetime, she still had a high rank within the harem.  Wei  eventually became the 2nd highest rank, and took over the harem after Ulanara (Zhou Xun) died.

Note: This character appears in My Fair Princess & My Fair Princess III as Consort Ling.

Tong Yao–Gao Xiyue, Imperial Noble Consort Huixian

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Gao joins Team Fucha and thus schemes against Ruyi.  Fucha abandons her after she loses the emperor’s favor.  Gao finds out that the Empress hurt her son, so she gets revenge by whistle blowing to the Emperor….and…she makes him “contract scabies by luring him onto a quilt filled with dirty goose feathers” (Wikipedia)  ?!?! WHAT THE HECK?!

Historically, Gao began as a secondary consort.  She was later ranked Noble Consort in the harem.  She was the only one to hold this rank during that time.  She became ill towards the end of her life, and died before her ceremony for her promotion to Imperial Noble Consort.  Her title Imperial Noble Consort Huixian was granted posthumously.

Xing Zhi Lei–Jin Yuyan, Noble Consort Shujia

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Jin Yuyan is another villain!  Is this any surprise by now? She causes several concubines’ deaths.

Historically: Jin was of Korean descent, as demonstrated by her last name.  Her surname was changed to Jingiya later on.  She was started as a Noble Lady, and was eventually promoted to Noble Consort Jia. Imperial Noble Consort Shujia is her posthumous title.

Zeng Yi Xuan–Ah Ruo, Concubine Shen

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She starts out as a maid in the palace.


Legend of Ru Yi starts filming

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Filming started for the drama this month!  Wallace has already shaved his head and gotten into emperor mode!  Yesss!!!  Seeing as filming has only just recently started, I think it’ll be a while before we get a teaser and a long preview.  Fingers crossed for more updates!


More on Legend of Ru Yi:

Updates:

  • 11/8/2016 – Character stills
  • 10/20/2016 – Character descriptions

Sources: Dramawiki, A Virtual Voyage, Wikipedia (1) List of all concubines/empresses  (2) Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace

© My Drama Tea

heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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  • Wow… you really spent a lot of time going of the history of all the characters. I believe we have somebody making a post focused more on the novel’s spin on history so maybe you can look for that hopefully sometime soon… 🙂

    • Yeah, it took me longer than I was expecting. I’m glad I now know at least a little background of some of the historical figures. Looking forward to that post!! 😀

      • It’s good. I mean one of the benefits to watching period dramas for me is that sometimes it inspires me to look things up and find out what actually happened. 🙂

  • Hi again~

    Thank you for posting this. I have to admit that much I know about Qian Long emperor come from Huan Zhu Gege TV drama back when I was a child. It was super popular back then. So we got the emperor, Ling Fei, Lao Foye and the mother of Yong Qi. To be honest I am more interested about Ling Fei (because I like her character back then on HZGG) than Ulanara. Sigh.

    Anyway, I can’t wait for this.

      • Sorry for the late(ish?) reply,
        A) your welcome
        B) Several new stills have been released! (Not sure if you knew this), I can’t really mach up the faces but holy **** the costumes are so much extravagant and beautiful.
        C) A website (csfensi, but I’m not too sure) has the list of titles the concubines go through. It includes them being maids to other concubines.
        D)Zhen Huan also seems like much more of an a-hole in this series.

        • Yes, I saw some of the stills! I still gotta get to know who’s who…there are so many characters. I liked how Hong Li seemed like a good son to Zhen Huan in LZH. Too bad it seems like their relationship turns sour in LRY…

          • Also, I find it very interesting that the antagonists end up with the higher posthumous titles (I.e. Fuca Langhua- Empress, Jin Yuyan- Imperial Noble Consort, Wei Yanwan- Empress) while Ruyi’s team ends up with relatively lower posthumous titles, (Hailan- Noble Conosrt, Yehenara Yihuan-Consort)

  • I know even history can be manipulated, but I don’t think gonna like this kind of story line since it seems to make “a good person(s) in history becomes evil in drama”… In Zhenhuan at least we can say it is happy ending but in Ruyi? It’s just sad ending. Hehee…thanks anyway for your review❤️

    • Yes, if you look at the rest of the other character descriptions on the wiki, there are so many sad and horrible endings. It makes me wonder if I want to brave all the drama in this show!

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