Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao taking a stroll on the lovely oceans during sane times
Tong Hua's novels are beautifully crafted narratives, titles and dialogues that often draw references from other ancient classical literary and poetry--essentially Classic of Mountains and Seas (山海经) and Tang Dynasty's Li Bai's same-titled poem in this case. I started her Song of the Clouds （云中歌）without reading Ballad of the Desert （大漠谣）first, and then also going backwards to Once Promised （曾许诺）after falling hard for its sequel Lost You Forever.
Love it not because it is the latest Tong Hua series, but because you can really connect with the characters that are fleshed out with plights which you either feel sorry for, understand wholeheartedly, despise immensely, or couldn't otherwise decide, because there seems to be more to it. There's nothing makjang nor any eye-rolling plots in existence. It helps that the setting is epic mythical （仙侠） rather than just pure fantasy or simply having the wu-xia (martial arts) feel. Here you have gods, demons and humans living on the same plane of power and magic where humans appear to be on the losing end (given the short livespan and all), but seemingly not so. Life is really but a series of encounters and separations. Imagine having to go through this repeatedly for a long long long time for those immortals who ultimately end up jaded.
When I saw this, for some reason it immediately reminds me of Fang Feng Bei! >.<
To be honest I was rather miffed and skeptical when it was announced that the rights of this series has been bought for a (chinese) drama adaptation, as we all know how usually disappointing a novel-drama adaptation can be; not forgetting that the low quality of most china-produced dramas & miscast actors. Perfectly characterized figures that adorn the already gorgeous landscapes ever imagined, are definitely something out of the world, and hence not easily re-created. Further more, SARFT (basically the censorship body in China) has not been particulary nice to such genre, and I can't even finish counting on one hand the number of completed films that suffer from the broadcast ban, or delay until future notice.
But what if there is a Korean version of this? As far as I know, Korea television has no problem with fantasy stories, but there just aren't enough (maybe even none) mythical dramas for the fans. Since there have been Korean versions of Japanese dramas and novels, why not do one based on a Chinese literature? Reach out to a wider audience, you know the drill. At least Chinese and Koreans have somewhat similar culture and philosophy, and I really do think they are capable of executing this if given the appropriate budget.
So here's my ideal casting for the main characters. This was done rather spontaneously, and I might have miss out some other actors more suited for the relevant roles. I am always open to suggestions and discussions, so do let me know what you think *winks*
Xiao Yao: Lee Yoo Bi
Xiao Liu (Xiao Yao in male form): Song Joong Ki
Jing / Ye Shi Qi: Yoo Seung Ho
Xiang Liu / Fang Feng Bei: Lee Soo Hyuk
Zhuan Xu: Song Jae Rim
Feng Long: Lee Jang Woo
Xing Yue: Park Han Byul
Fang Feng Yiying: Lee Yeon Hee
Hou: Kim Soo Hyun
Ah Nian: Jo Boa
Ah Heng: Choi Soo Young (SNSD cameo)
Chi You: Lee Dong Wook (cameo)
Yellow Emperor: Choi Min Soo
Shun Emperor: Now this is difficult coz I can't remember if he turned old or just middle age in this series