A Chinese Ghost Story Gets Another Remake

Chinese Ghost Story Leslie Cheung Joey Wong
Every culture has their own classic horror story. The Americans have Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street and for the Chinese, this is it, The Chinese Ghost Story 倩女幽魂, but it's really more of a romance. 

I first saw it in 1987 on a Betamax that my dad rented and it stars Leslie Cheung and Joey Wong as the lead cast.  It did so well that it had 2 sequels with the lead being eventually changing to Tony Leung instead of Leslie CheungIt is based on a story titled Nie Xiaoqian which is part of large collection of stories from the Qing Dynasty.

Chinese Ghost Story Barbie Hsu Daniel Chan

It was remade quite a few more times after that with Barbie Hsu and recently, Crystal Liu playing the iconic character. There's no word yet who will play Nie Xiaoqian or any of the other characters but filming is expected to begin in August. 

Personally, I would have liked to see Zhang Ziyi or Gong Li in the role because their beauty, in life or afterlife, would be unmatched hence, giving credibility to the story. Unfortunately, they would be a bit old for it by now to play so maybe some fresh faces like Nazha or Dai Si would make a good Nie Xiaoqian. Who would you want to see play Nie Xiaoqian?

Chinese Ghost Story Crystal Liu

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13 comments:

  1. I would like to see someone who fits the mode of a classical Chinese beauty. The Shui Ling/Jiang Qinqin type.

    Zhu Xudan would be perfect for Nie Xiao Qian. She has that otherworldly air. Other names in my fantasy casting: Gina Jin, Sun Yi, Wang Ziwen, Qiao Xin..

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  2. Barbie Xu can't be compared with Joey. But her's was in a drama style, and the personality was totally different so everything was done very beautifully, also cute.

    Liu Yifei's version was so bland and too modern, she was still pretty but the character along with the story was not so good.

    I find both Sun Yi and Sebrina Chen Yao the most beautiful enough for the role. Oh yea, Shui Ling is totally one of my favorite classical chinese beauties.

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    1. Yang Mi also played Nie Xiao Qian if I remember correctly



      Oh yea, I was thinking of Chen Yao too but I was wondering if she looks too.. "cute" for the role..

      Yeah, Shui Ling is totally a classical Chinese beauty. I sometimes think that if Diao Chan, Xi Shi, Yang Guifei, Wang Zhaojun, and perhaps a lesser known beauty, Chen Yuanyuan were all alive in the 21st century, Shui Ling would give them a run for their money haha.

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    2. @Therainhouse
      Yes I remember Yang Mi's version too. She is much prettier when she was young, it was beautiful. I love the styling they did on her too. I didn't like that story much though, part of it is because Hu Ge had that smart modern man look it doesn't match being a book worm.

      LOL agree with that about Shui Ling! Sun Li almost look like her but Shui Ling is still very unreplicable.

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    3. @anonymous 2.b - yes! i think Shui Ling and sun li look similar as well, especially when I was watching tribes and empires. I kept getting sun li vibes from Shui ling (acting and character wise) and I don't remember watching any of her dramas back then.

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    4. Hahaa, I haven't watched Tribes and Empires so I can't comment on the comparison to Sun Li..

      My two cents. Please understand that I don't intend to offend anyone with these comments. Just a personal analysis.

      Sun Li, based on what I've seen of her (Shanghai Bund, Painted Skin, Zhen Huan, Nothing Gold Can Stay) tends to gravitate towards "strong, independent women" type of roles.. Sometimes, tomboy roles.

      Shui Ling, judging from her roles in LOCH 2003, Grief Over Qing He River/New Plum Blossom, HZGG III gets typecast a lot.. as a beautiful woman, a femme fatale, a damsel in distress..

      For me, Shui Ling's beauty is the kind that is almost haunting and melancholic. Like, just by looking at her, your heart would sort of ache.

      But Sun Li doesn't have that effect. Sun Li doesn't look as fragile as Shui Ling. She doesn't really have that sorrowful effect either.. perhaps because she doesn't usually play the fragile, vulnerable type.

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    5. @Therainhouse - if that's to me, no offense taken. :)

      Shui Ling (I was going to abbreviate but both of their names would be SL's hahahaha) was strong and ruthless in Tribes and Empires so that's why I find her very similar to Sun Li.

      Now I do remember watching LOCH 2003 and yes, Shui Ling was in there but I didn't have any impression of her. Probably because she was overshadow by ZX or I just didn't find her character very interesting.

      You're right though... Sun Li does tend to play strong characters. I think her most damsel in distress role that I remember was in the parody Just Another Water Margin. She was incredibly beautiful. She's more beautiful with long hair, imo. hahaha

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    6. Haha no offense at all, it is pretty much a fact that Shui Ling tend to do more damsel in distress roles. Also true Sun Li mostly do very strong roles, and she is super good at them too. I think they are similar by face but not much about acting.

      But what made Shui Ling so remarkable to me is how dynamic she is. For the famous distress roles like Tears in Heaven, she can appear very soft and elegant just like a fairy. There are prettier girls today but they cannot act like a true lady that is reserved, without being annoying or too pretentious. Even Sun Li can potentially make a drama boring to the max if she were to play nice quiet lady roles, so I really support her in the strong roles. Shui Ling, on the other hand can handle strong independent woman as well. For example in White Hair Maiden (although she was way too soft when it comes to mushy love), she really kick ass with awesome martial arts and have killing eyes full of hatred. She also handled the playful and naughty role so well in Crouching Tiger. She was able to play everything without problem.

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    7. @anonymous wow, you've watched so many of Shui Ling's shows.

      I have not seen her in White Hair Maiden and Crouching Tiger (the TV version right not the movie starring Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh)

      I haven't seen Tears in Heaven either. Heard it's a famous melo. So many old shows to watch! She is an excellent actress so I'm sure she handled those scenes well as you said.

      @Shi Lol, now that you mentioned it, I just realised their names are similar although Shui Ling's name is a stage name I think? And Sun Li also has an English stage name right? Betty? But no one ever calls her Betty Sun haha.

      You're probably right. In most adaptations of LOCH, it's safe to say that people are more drawn to Huang Rong or the actress who plays Huang Rong than Mu Nianci. Huang Rong, imo, is just more likeable and easy to root for.

      Lol, I'd like to watch that parody of Water Margin

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    8. I'm old so I watched lots of Shui Ling's show. Totally forgot she played Mu Nianci! I don't think that was a notable role, she played the quiet lady but it was more serious than gentle and she was styled like an old lady too. It was way too mature, not like a young lady. But when Liu Shi Shi played it she was really beautiful and people still find her the "boring" lady as well so I think it must be a novel's character issue.

      Tears in Heaven was fun because of Vincent Jiao although he was the evil guy. Athena Chu was decent too.

      I never knew Sun Li has an english name call Betty! And that Shui Ling is actually just a staged name. Interesting!

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  3. I find crystal Zhang Tian'ai very beautiful. And would fit the role. Aren't there some scenes of her with long flowing hair similar to Joey in the movie? LOL

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