Film adaptation is an endless topic that filmmakers are constantly exploiting and welcomed by audiences. Chinese films adapted from fictional novels made waves everywhere such as The Journey of Flower, Eternal Love, Princess Agents …
From past to present, adaptations seem to be the most favored by the audience. My Fair Princess, Romance in the Rain, The Legend of the Condor, The Return of the Condor Heroes, …all Chinese films that used to make big on the small Asian screen were mostly adapted from novels of great writers like Jin Yong and Chiung Yao. In particular, the film adaptation from the fictional novel has never shown signs of cooling down.
Check out best Chinese films adapted from fictional novels in recent years
1. Love and Redemption
As the first half film is adapted from the fictional novel Liu Li Mei Ren Sha by Shi Si Lang, Love and Redemption made headlines on the small screen with countless praises. While other movie adaptations suffered from criticism from original fans, Love and Redemption successfully conquered the hearts of fans.
The content revolves mainly on the sweet but painful love story of the main duo – Yu Sifeng and Chu Xuanji. Both are originally from the Heavenly Realm, live with noble status. Xuan Ji was born without six senses. Yu Si Feng is cursed with a spell that forces him to wear a mask that will only fall away if he can find true love.
Although it was broadcast quietly, Love and Redemption still catches a lot of attention from the audience. Even though the film ended, douban points have continuously increased, starting from 7.2 and currently 7.6. At the same time, it gained 2 billion 790 million views on Mango TV. It can be seen that this Chinese fantasy film has a great attraction to TV audiences.
Besides the good content, the audience couldn’t help but praise the main lead, Cheng Yi – Crystal Yuan. Both are considered to have natural acting. Thanks to the film’s success, the duo impressed TV audiences and captured many fans’ hearts.
2. Ashes of Love
Although it is not the first film of Deng Lun and Yang Zi, it is one of the best films of two actors. As a Chinese film released in 2018, Ashes of Love took first place on the charts, continuously increasing the viewer ratings.
Adapted from the novel of the same name by author Dian Xian, Ashes of Love tells the story of Jinmi – the daughter of Flower Deity – Zifen. Before her death, she fed her daughter a magical pellet to give up love. Therefore, during the 4,000 years, Jinmi did not understand what love and friendship were. She was pure, lovely, but had no romantic feeling.
Thanks to her fate, Jinmi accidentally helped God’s second son – Fire Deity, Xufeng, and over a hundred years together, the two gradually developed feelings for each other. But unexpectedly, God’s eldest son – Runyu – took advantage of Jinmi to kill Xufeng.
With the fascinating details and prominent cast, the film earned 10 billion online views and received 7.7 douban points. At the time of the drama’s broadcast, both soundtracks, The Left Hand pointing to the Moon and Unsullied became hit songs.
3. Princess Agents
The story is set in the period of the South-North chaotic war, many people fell into slavery, including the young girl Chu Qiao (Zhao Liying). At hunting games for rich lords, she accidentally met and was rescued by Prince of Northern Yan, Yan Xun (Shawn Dou). After that, she was taken to the home of the male lead Yuwen Yue (Lin Gengxin) as a slave and after seeing her brothers die painfully, she silently swore to save her sister and escaped from here.
During the days of living at Yuwen Yue’s house, Chu Qiao experienced difficulties over and over again. But with her inherent intelligence, she not only survived but also grabbed the attention of Yuwen Yue and received strict martial arts training from him.
Right from the first scenes on screen, Princess Agents quickly spread widely on social media and became a hot topic of discussion. In addition to the attractive content and breathtaking footage, the audience was also satisfied with the main duo – Lin Gengxin and Zhao Liying. Besides the male and female lead, the supporting actors are familiar names in the Chinese film industry, Li Qin and Shawn Dou.
Although it was not broadcast in the golden hour, Princess Agents still broke the film record. The film was aired on 6 Chinese online movie platforms including Mango TV, LeTv, Tencent, Sohu, IQIYI, Youku, and after only 36 hours of its premiere, gained 1 billion online views. Despite receiving many mixed opinions, the rating of the movie is still increasing and reaching 43 billion viewers in the final episode.
Through the film, Zhao Liying’s reputation has increased a lot, her acting skills are also more recognized. Even without a professional training class, she still excellently completed each role she took on.
4. Boss & Me
Boss & Me is adapted from the romantic novel “Shan Shan Comes to Eat” written by Gu Man. The work is considered as ‘stepchild’ of Gu Man because the author is not too interested in the series and has no promotional activities. During the opening time, both the male and female lead, Zhang Han and Zhao Li Ying faced many mixed opinions. However, when it was broadcast, it immediately became one of the most successful Chinese film adaptation.
The film revolves around the innocent, lovely Xue Shanshan, a little goofy with the cold boss Feng Teng. One night, she received a sudden phone call from the hospital. They asked her to donate blood to a woman with rare blood type RH like her and Sam Sam quickly accepted. But unexpectedly, the person she donated blood to was the sister of the president of a giant conglomerate – Feng Yue. To show gratitude to Shanshan, Feng Yue regularly cooks delicious meals and asked her brother to give it to Shanshan. And from here, Feng Teng falls in love with stupid, lovely Shanshan.
It can be said that Boss & Me is a milestone in Zhao Liying’s acting career. Thanks to the film, she quickly raised to stardom. Up to now, the audience still thinks that the most adorable Shanshan is Zhao Liying.
5. Le Coup de Foudre (Love at First Sight)
Belonging to a familiar youth topic, Love at first sight succeeds brilliantly thanks to new factors. Released in 2019, Le Coup de Foudre is a Chinese film adapted from the novel I don’t like this world, I just like you. However, this is not an ordinary novel but is actually based on the true love story of author Qiao Yi.
The film tells the story of a tablemates couple Yan Mo and Zhao Qiaoyi from their school days to adulthood. Yan Mo is a quiet and reticent person who excels in his studies. Meanwhile, his friend Zhao Qiaoyi is honest, kindhearted but bad at studies. During the time helping each other, the two gradually developed feelings and made a mutual wish to study abroad, but due to family reasons, Qiao Yi lost her appointment with Yan Mo, and the duo has not contacted each other for 4 years.
It seems that time will fade away the youthful love. But unexpectedly, Yan Mo still deeply misses Qiaoyi, and Qiaoyi has never forgotten her first love. After meeting each other by chance at a television station, Qiaoyi decided to gave up her current job and flew to the city where Yan Mo lived to chase after him again.
One of the film’s success points is that even though it is painted in romantic colors, it gives the audience comfortable laughter. Along with laughter, there are also profound messages about love, friendship, and family affection.
From the very first days of broadcasting, Le Coup de Foudre quickly took on first place on the charts, climbed hot search on Weibo, become the topic of discussion. Not only impressed the audience with attractive content, but the original fans also praised Zhang Yujian and Janice Wu for excellent acting. After the success of the film, the name and acting ability of the main duo are also recognized by the audience.
6. Eternal Love (Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms)
The film is adapted from the novel of the same name written by the author Tang Qi Gong Zi about the three-life love of the beautiful High Goddess Bai Qian (Yang Mi) and Crown Prince of the Nine Heavens – Ye Hua (Mark Chao).
When Bai Qian was sealed with all her magic power and memory, lived as a mortal world with the name Su Su, she accidentally saved Ye Hua in the form of a black snake. Being cared for by her little by little, Ye Hua gradually developed feelings for Su Su. Despite the distance between people and gods, he married her to the Nine Heavens. The two went through three painful lives in exchange for a thousand years of happiness.
Eternal Love swept all the charts at that time, breaking the record for online views of previous Chinese films. As of 1 August 2018, the film has reached 50 billion views, becoming the most-watched television series in China. Not only famous in the country, but the film has also been shown in some countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Having already had a strong foothold before, Yang Mi’s reputation increased when she excellently performed the beautiful and arrogant Bai Qian. At the same time, the male lead Mark Chao also entered the search list of fans.
7. The Journey of Flower
Released in 2016, The Journey of Flower help adaptations of the fantasy genre create a new golden age. With two big names, Wallace Hua and Zhao Liying, audiences were excited since the movie just started.
Hua Qiangu (Zhao Liying) is an unlucky orphan born with a strange scent that lures demons. Bai Zi Hua (Wallace Hua), the most gentle yet cold-hearted man, who becomes her teacher, mentor, and lover. Hua Qiangu’s biggest mistake is her love for her master.
The Journey of Flower can be considered one of the most successful films in Zhao Liying’s acting career. At the same time, the audience praised Wallace Hua for his magical aura transforming into Bai Zi Hua – outwardly cold and heartless from the outside. The film consecutively ranked first in the rating chart at that time.