Just recently I saw a promotional poster for a remake of Butterfly Lovers. It stars Wu Chun (Hot Shot, Romantic Princess), HK Twins pop duo Charlene Choi and Hu Ge (Fairy in Wonderland with Ariel Lin).
Some regarded it as the Chinese version of tragic romantic story of Romeo and Juliet although there are also a lot of differences between the two. This remake will be in wuxia version, meaning plenty of martial arts involved, well sort of.
Basically, the story revolved around two young people, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. The girl, Yingtai, disguised herself as a man so she can freely travel and study. On her way to the city, she met Shanbo who is a scholar. They clicked and become friends. In the next three years in school, they shared the same room, one bed naturally a love will blossom but it was from Yingtai’s side only since Shanbo sees her as a man, his best friend.
One day, Yingtai received a letter from her father demanding for her return. Before she left, she went to the school’s headmaster and revealed her true identity to him. She left a jade pendant to the headmaster with specific instruction to give it to Shanbo.
Shanbo on the other hand was sad and since Yingtai is his best friend and blood brother (they made a pact when they met) accompanied her only until they reach a certain point on her journey. During that time, she was giving several hints as to her real gender but Shanbo was so dense. Anyway, Yingtai thought of “matchmaking” him to her sister so that she can encourage him to visit her in the future.
When he was able to visit her, he found out her real identity and naturally they fell passionately in love with each other. The problem is, the father is forcing her to marry another man who is quite rich. The lovers promised each other that if they cannot live together, they will die together.
The story was based from a Chinese legend. A couple of movies and TV series plus theatre plays have been produced for this classic love story since the 1950s. The TV series version last year garnered one of the highest ratings in Chinese TV history.
I am quite excited on how this 2008 movie version will turn out. It will be released next month. The female lead role was first offered to Gillian Chung. Charlene Choi’s partner in their pop duo act, TWINS. However, when Gillian was involved in a sex photo scandal with her then boyfriend Edison Chen, the role was passed on to Charlene.
Check out the trailer: