“The Untamed” Team Reunite for “Heaven Official’s Blessing” Live-Action Drama

Has "The Untamed" paved the way for more same-sex romance dramas in Chinese media?

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7:04 PM HKT, Mon December 21, 2020 1 mins read

Another novel by the author behind The Untamed is set to get the live-action treatment in 2021, with filming on a TV adaptation of Heaven Official’s Blessing set to begin soon.

Works by author Mo Xiang Tong Xiu (a pseudonym) have been in demand at China’s leading streaming platforms following the international success of The Untamed, adapted from the novel Modao Zushi. Also a “Boy’s Love” story, Heaven Official’s Blessing will be helmed by The Untamed director Chen Jialin, and produced by iQIYI. The team is reportedly in the midst of casting for the roles and there has been no official confirmation over who will star in the show yet.

It won’t be the first time Heaven Official’s Blessing appears on screen however. An exquisite anime version (pictured up top) recently broke 100 million views in just over three weeks on rival platform Bilibili.

Naturally, fans of the anime and the books have flipped out at the prospect of a live-action version of the stories.

“[This] costume drama has high expectations. The most important thing is to respect the original novel. Big IPs are hard to find. I hope the producers will cherish this opportunity,” one fan wrote on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

The LGBTQ+ romance-based novel revolves around two characters Xie Lian and Hua Cheng. Xie Lian is the prince of the Xian Le Kingdom who ascends to the heavens several times, but eventually gets banished to the mortal world. He encounters a young man named Hua Cheng in Ghost City, sparking a drama-filled adventure.

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While Chinese authorities have clamped down on depictions of homosexuality in mainstream media in recent years, shows hinting at gay relationships have experienced significant popularity, with The Untamed being a key example. That show’s success also led to a number of scandals however, with fanfiction revolving around its two male leads Wang Yibo and Xiao Zhan ultimately sparking the blocking of fanfic site AO3 within China.

Fans of Heaven Official’s Blessing will be hoping it can avoid such pitfalls.

While we wait, check out some fantastic Chinese dramas to binge on Netflix right here.

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