"Creation of the Gods I" has announced its release date on July 20th. This mythological film, directed by Wu Ershan and starring Huang Bo, Fei Xiang, Li Xuejian, Xia Yu, and Chen Kun took over five years to produce and will finally meet with audiences.
"Creation of the Gods" started shooting in September 2018 as a trilogy. The three parts were titled "Creation of The Gods I: Yao Luan Guo Shang", "Creation of The Gods II - Mo Dao Zheng Feng", "Creation of The Gods III - Feng Shen Tian Xia". Part one was initially planned to be released during summer 2020 but production schedules had been disrupted due to the pandemic. Now that it is set to premiere this summer season, can it boost the entire market?
"Creation of the Gods" is based on China's famous classical novel "Investiture of the Gods", narrating an epic mythical war that lasted over three thousand years between humans, immortals, and demons.
In part one of this series, Huang Bo plays Jiang Ziya; Fei Xiang portrays King Zhou of Shang; Li Xuejian appears as Ji Chang, King Wen of Zhou; Xia Yu takes up Shen Gongbao’s role while Chen Kun portrays Yuanshi Tianzun - most significant roles in part one are played by popular celebrities. The cast also includes Yu Shi as Ji Fa, Chen Muchi as Yin Jiao, and Ci Shao as Yang Jian.
"Creation of the Gods I" features a mix of established stars and newcomers in its cast. While audiences may have confidence in the acting skills of established actors, the performances of new actors remain unknown. Based on the story arc from the original novel "Investiture of the Gods", characters such as Ji Fa and Yang Jian will have more significant roles in parts two and three.
As an expensive mythological film, "Creation of the Gods I" must feature magnificent special effects to attract audiences to buy tickets. The trailer shows characters like Yang Jian, Lei Zhenzi, Nezha demonstrating their powerful magic abilities; this provides only a glimpse into what we can expect from part one's epic mythical style that it creates through its visual effects.
Director Wu Ershan was inspired by watching fantasy movie "The Lord of the Rings" in 2002, which led him to conceive his own idea for producing Chinese mythological epic movies. Twenty years later, his dream has come true, "Creation of the Gods" is his version of “The Lord of the Rings”.
Wu Ershan, who recently turned 50, is at the height of his prime. Prior to this project, he has directed and released three films - "The Butcher, The Chef, and The Swordsman," "Painted Skin 2," and "Mojin: The Lost Legend."
Wu Ershan's first feature film was a costume action comedy called "The Butcher, The Chef, and The Swordsman". Despite limited funding, it presented a fast-paced stylized movie that made him an industry-renowned director.
"Painted Skin 2" was his first foray into directing costume film. It captivated audiences with its bold aesthetic style and moving love story. With earnings of ¥700 million at the box office in China alone, it once held the record as mainland China's highest-grossing domestic film.
His third film “Mojin” continued to showcase Wuershan’s signature filmmaking style while incorporating original source material IP along with notable stars in its cast; earning over ¥1.67 billion at the box office.
After achieving a series of brilliant commercial accomplishments, Wu Ershan finally had the opportunity to realize his dream of producing mythological epic movies. "Creation of the Gods" project started in 2014, and officially starting filming on September 2018 in Qingdao; altogether spanning almost ten years since its inception.
In order to fully present his vision of the mythological epic, Wu Ershan constructed a "Chaoge City" in Qingdao solely for the film's shooting purposes. The production mode of the "Creation of the Gods" trilogy was inspired by "The Lord Of The Rings". Before filming began, young actors involved in horseback riding scenes underwent closed-door training to master their riding and archery skills.
Wu Ershan invited Barry M. Osborne as a production consultant who was also one of the producers behind the “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy. Additionally, Lu Wei (the screenwriter for "Farewell My Concubine") and James Schamus (screenwriter of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) served as script consultants to provide guidance on enhancing and maintaining the quality of its screenplay.
"Creation of the Gods" brings together many top-notch professionals both on-screen and off-screen. Wu Ershan aims to lead this team in creating an epic masterpiece that will elevate China's film industry standards. With the release date set for "Creation of the Gods I", its cinematic journey has just begun; it carries significant responsibility as its box office success or failure may impact whether or not there will be sequels made.