Legend of Ru Yi: New Poster & Casting Updates for the Zhen Huan Sequel
New Poster Released
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:
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
^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
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
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
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.
Dong Jie as Fucha Langhua / Empress Xiao Xian Chun, the First Empress Consort
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
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
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
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
She starts out as a maid in the palace.
Legend of Ru Yi starts filming
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:
- Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace: Behind the Scenes & Teaser Clip
- Zhou Xun as the Leading Lady in Legend of Zhen Huan Sequel
- 11/8/2016 – Character stills
- 10/20/2016 – Character descriptions
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