Xiao Zhan and Ren Min Will Officially Star As Drama Leads For “The Longest Promise”

On March 29, the TV drama, “Yu Gu Yao” (玉骨遥) officially announced that Xiao Zhan and Ren Min would play the male and female leads for the upcoming show!

Yu Gu Yao poster
Yu Gu Yao drama poster

A brief synopsis of the novel that “Yu Gu Yao” is based on

“Yu Gu Yao” is a TV drama adaptation of a novel titled “Zhu Yan (朱颜).”

The original fantasy novel is written by Cang Yue and is a prequel to the “Mirror” series. It centers on the female protagonist, Zhu Yan who is the princess of the Chi Yi Tribe. In a quest to improve her cultivation skills, she meets Shi Ying, who is a royal prince of Kong Sang Continent, banished to the high mountains to cultivate. He is known to everyone as the Grand Priest of Jiu Yi Mountains at first. Both were originally intent on improving their cultivation skills together, with Shi Ying taking in Zhu Yan as his disciple. However, Shi Ying falls in love with Zhu Yan. Due to the nature of their teacher-student relationship, neither speak out about their feelings.

As both parties also stand on opposite ends of the political spectrum, the possibility of them sharing a future together is bleak. As they struggle through their journey of life, they eventually set aside their differences and join forces to protect their homeland, Kong Sang Continent.

The drama is considered a ‘fantasy’ themed costume drama. Since it was announced that the novel would be made into a drama, fans have been eagerly awaiting for the main cast of the show to be announced. It is widely expected that the drama adaptation would differ from the novel, as changes are required to trim the story to suit the length of a drama.

What does Shi Ying’s role mean for Xiao Zhan?

In the novel, Shi Ying is described to be a stoic man with a cool and calm temperament. He is resolute, intelligent and decisive. He is also one who has never received loved from his father, and his mother passed away when he was young. As one of the strongest characters in the novel, he is always seen in white clothing and is described to have a ‘cold’ appearance.

After taking on the slightly more jovial role of “Wei Wuxian” in the Untamed, and the headstrong but caring “Tang San” in Douluo Continent, fans are eager to see Xiao Zhan take on the role of “Shi Ying”. Some even described this role as a new challenge for Xiao Zhan to conquer, as he would have to effectively portray a cold and distant character. In fact, some fans even said that Xiao Zhan would be attempting to portray someone like “Lan Wangji”, given the character similarities between him and “Shi Ying.”

Others suggested that the role of Shi Ying would be akin to Xiao Zhan’s portrayal of “Yan Bingyun” in his guest appearance for the drama, “Joy of Life.”

Xiao Zhan Yu Gu Yao
Xiao Zhan as “Shi Ying”

As fans eagerly anticipate the drama that is expected to air in 2022, many cannot help but to marvel at how good-looking the actor appeared in white robes.

Is Zhu Yan’s role a new breakthrough character for Ren Min?

The rising actress Ren Min takes on the role of Zhu Yan, who is described to be a young and headstrong lady. In “Zhu Yan”, the female protagonist is 9 years younger than Shi Ying in the novel.

In real life, the casting could be said to accurately represent the age gap between the two leads, as Ren Min is born in 1999, while Xiao Zhan is born in 1991.

Ren Min
Ren Min as “Zhu Yan” in Yu Gu Yao

Ren Min most recently starred in the drama “Serenade of Peaceful Joy” in 2020, as a supporting actress. The drama provides her a good opportunity to showcase her acting skills as she takes on the main role. That said, the role of a ‘princess’ is nothing novel for Ren Min, as she took on the role of “Princess Fu Kang” in “Serenade of Peaceful Joy.”

She has also made frequent variety show appearances on “Actors Please Stand By 2” just last year.

For now, the show is expected to air in 2022. The drama cast and crew have just kick-started the film opening ceremony today.

Yu Gu Yao
Xiao Zhan and Ren Min at the Film Opening Ceremony for Yu Gu Yao
Xiao Zhan Shi Ying
Xiao Zhan dresses up as “Shi Ying” for Yu Gu Yao

As the filming begins, the cool and cold great priest Shi Ying and the lively and charming princess Zhu Yan leave everyone wondering what kind of shared destiny their love will bring!

The drama is surely one to watch, as it also has a notable producer, Li Eryun who will take charge of its production. As the chief director of Tencent videos, she has produced major productions such as “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (那年花开月正圆) and The Fox’s Summer” (狐狸的夏天) and more. 

Are you looking forward to this upcoming drama? Share your thoughts and comments with us below!

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