Cheng Yi and Li Yitong's 2nd Drama Collab: Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Wang Quan

Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Wang Quan

Finally! After so many speculations on who will be the main leads of the drama adaptation of the third chapter of Fox Spirit Matchmaker, it is officially confirmed that Cheng Yi and Li Yitong will banner the Wang Quan arc.

Previous rumors of the main leads of the Wang Quan chapter include Deng Lun and Zhao Lusi, Wu Lei and Yang Chao Yue, and Dylan Wang and Esther Yu, which spawned intense reactions from Douban users. 

Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Wang Quan
Li Yitong and Cheng Yi in the filming of Hero Legends

We heard that Cheng Yi repeatedly turned this down (not sure why) but the producer made it known that he has no other choice to play the role of Wang Fugui other than Cheng Yi so the production adjusted the schedule of filming to accommodate Cheng Yi's schedule.

We suspected that Cheng Yi's initial refusal to star in this series was due to the injury he sustained in the last week of filming of Hero Legends in June and he needed enough time to recuperate before starting another hardcore martial arts series. 

Hero Legends chinese drama
Li Yitomg and Cheng Yi in the filming of Hero Legends

The Wang Quan chapter will follow the love story between the human Taoist, Wang Fugui, and the unknown spirit, Qingtong.

In the original Chinese manhua source serialized on Tencent comics, Wang Fugui is described as a rich playboy who is highly skilled in using a "spirit slaying-sword" and was assigned by his family to kill evil spirits. Cheng Yi has excellent swordplay skills but can't imagine him being a playboy in the drama OMG!

This will be Cheng Yi and Li Yitong's second drama collaboration in succession. They just wrapped up filming the big-budgeted costume martial arts drama, Hero Legends, in June this year. 

Li Yitong also just finished filming another costume drama, Legend of Rosy Clouds, with Joseph Zeng, Deng Wei, and Riley Wang. Cheng Yi did not have any series filmed after he suffered an injury while filming Hero Legends.

Hero Legends
Cheng Yi in the filming of Hero Legends

Hero Legends Cheng Yi
Cheng Yi in the filming of Hero Legends

Cheng Yi is the perfect choice to play Wang Fugui because this character is described in the manhua as a highly-skilled swordsman in the mortal world, and who is tasked by his family to slay evil spirits. 

Among the three adaptations, the Wang Quan arc has more intense martial arts fight scenes, and the main male lead is required to have good sword skills.

Cheng Yi is so good in wuxia and he has been known for portraying remarkable roles in the costume drama genre, performing difficult martial arts moves. So this role is best suited for him. But being a rich playboy in the drama sounds strange to Cheng Yi's personality. 😂

Cheng Yi Mysterious Lotus Casebook
Cheng Yi as Li Xiangyi in Mysterious Lotus Casebook

Can we watch him perform a swordplay again, just like in Mysterious Lotus Casebook? Hopefully! But expect another blood-vomiting moment of Cheng Yi in Fox Spirit Matchmaker as his character undergoes many tribulations in the story.

Cheng Yi and Li Yitong might have a guest appearance in Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Zhu Ye (starring Liu Shishi and Leon Zhang) which is currently in pre-production as part of the preview of their characters in the third chapter.

Story Overview

We don't have an exact plot summary copy or synopsis of the drama adaptation of Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Wang Quan. The production has yet to share a story overview. 

But based on the original source - The Little Matchmaker of the Fox Demon: Royal Power chapter, the Wang Quan arc covers the romance between Wang Fugui (a human to be played by Cheng Yi) and Qingtong (an unknown spirit to be played by Li Yitong).

In the manhua, Wang Fugui is the reincarnation of Wangquan Fugui, the famous Taoist warrior and former leader of the Yi Qi Taoist League. He was the cousin of Dongfang Yuechu (the protagonist in the Yuehong chapter played by Gong Jun) and the son of Dongfang Huaizhi and Wangquan Baye (main characters in the Zhu Ye chapter played by Liu Shishi and Leon Zhang respectively).

In his present life, Wang Fugui is the most talented in his family, the Wangquan family. who could use a Wangquan Sword excellently. The Wangquan family is the first family to use a magic item to fight against spirits.  Wang Fugui's father, Wangquan Baye, tasked him to kill any spirits,

But Wang Fugui is confined in the Wangquan family estate and could not get out of the mansion. Then one day, in the family's grand mansion, a spider was hatched from an egg by the deadly Black Widow spider. 

Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Wang Quan
Cheng Yi and Li Yitong

As Venom Widow's slave, she was referred to only by her number 12580. She was later caught and covered in a powerful sealing charm by Fugui's half-sister who used the spider as a messenger.

The Wangquan family told Wang Fugui to kill the spider as it might be a spy from the spirit world but Fugui took pity on the spider. He nursed her back to health and gave her the name Qingtong which means "pure/wholesome pupil" or "clear eyes", or simply "clear" referring to how she opened his eyes to the world. 

Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Wang Quan
Cheng Yi and Li Yitong

As a spider spirit, Qingtong is talented in using silk in various different ways for attack, defense, and practical use. Qingtong knew Wang Fugui could not get out of the mansion so she used her arachnoid to weave paintings of beautiful scenery outside his mansion to make him happy.

She also help Fugui understand the world better, his own purpose in life, helping him opening his eyes to the world beyond the confines of the Wangquan Family Estate. 

Fugui's father repeatedly told him to kill the spider but he refused. To keep her safe, Fugui decided to get out of the mansion, bringing Qingtong but they were caught by the guards and were badly wounded in the yard. Dongfang Yuechu and Tushan Honghong (played by Gong Jun and Yang Mi respectively in the first chapter) came in time to save them.

Qingtong is a spirit who is in search of the reincarnation of her true love. She sought a fox demon spirit who has a book called Chunai Tianpian, a fox magic book that can tell fox spirits some information about the love continuation between spirit and human.

Each fox spirit has only one book in their whole life. The books in other fox spirits have no name but Chunai Tianpian is the only one that has its name written by Dongfang Yuechu because this book belongs to Tushan Honghong in his past life. 

Later, Qingtong discovered that Wang Fugui is the reincarnation of her true love but as a human, Fugui does not have a memory of his past life. It is through this purpose that she will seek the "service" of the fox demon spirit to let Fugui recall his past life.

Fox Spirit Matchmaker Zhu Ye
Liu Shishi and Leon Zhang 

In the Zhu Ye arc (second chapter), Dongfang Huaizhi (played by Liu Shishi) gives birth to a son, Wangquan Fugui. So we assumed, Cheng Yi will have a special appearance in this chapter because his character, Wang Fugui, is the reincarnation of Wangquan Fugui.

The sister of Huaizhi, Dongfang Qinlan (played by Shen Yue) will also give birth to Dongfang Yuechu (the male protagonist in the Yuehong chapter played by Gong Jun). So there are events in the Zhu Ye chapter that happened ahead of the Yuehong chapter.

In the manhua, Wangquan Fugui will have a prominent role in the Yuehong chapter as a fellow Taoist warrior of his cousin, Dongfang Yuechu.

Fox Spirit Matchmaker Yuehong
Gong Jun and Yang Mi 

Fox Spirit Matchmaker manhua original:

In the original manhua of this xianxia series, the following are the main characters:

  • Bai Yuechu - the fifth reincarnation of Dongfang Yuechu (the main character in the Yue Hong chapter). He is obsessed with money and food and he is the fiancé of Tushan Susu who is actually Tushan Honghong (who lost her spiritual power and memory). Bai Yuechu is strictly controlled by the Yiqi Taoist League but because of an agreement signed 500 years ago between Tushan (fox tribe) and Yiqi Taoist League (human/mortal tribe), he got freedom. He will have a prominent role in the Wang Quan arc.
  • Tushan Susu - her spirit power is very low, she is Tushan Honghong herself but due to the loss of her spirit power, she forgets her past. She is the fiancee of Bai Yuechu.
  • Tushan Yaya - the elder sister of Tushan Rongrong and Tushan Susu. She has the strongest spirit power in Tushan at present and she is the leader of Spirit League.
  • Tushan Rongrong - the smartest fox spirit and second boss in Tushan.
  • Wang Fugui - a rich playboy who lived in the Wangquan family estate. He is the reincarnation of Wangquan Fugui, the cousin of Dongfang Yuechu, and a member of the Yiqi Taoist League. Wangquan Fugui was the son of Dongfang Huaizhi and Wangquan Baye, in the drama adaptation, these are the main characters in the Zhu Ye chapter played by Liu Shishi and Leon Zhang.

Overview of the first chapter:

To understand the three drama adaptations of Fox Spirit Matchmaker better, here's the synopsis of the first chapter of the manhua, The Little Matchmaker of the Fox Demon: Yue Hong chapter.

The Yue Hong chapter tells about the love between Dongfang Yuechu (a Taoist human), played by Gong Jun in the drama adaptation, and Tushan Honghong (a spirit of the fox tribe), played by Yang Mi in the drama adaptation. 

Tushan Honghong was the Queen of Tushan while Dongfang Yuechu came from the Dongfang family, whose members could use magic kill-spirit fire called Chunzhi Yangyan. 

Dongfang is described in the manhua as a fun-loving individual who gleefully throws himself into life often without regard for his own safety. He is highly intelligent and quick-thinking.

As a young child, he was constantly pursued by rogues who wanted to use him for his power and bloodline. After his parents were killed, he fled to Tushan for help and met Tushan Honghong, the Queen of Tushan of the fox tribe, who saved him from the attacking demons and rogue Taoists.

Dongfang then shared the secret of his power and his bloodline with Honghong, giving her a spot of his blood to increase her power and defeat the demons who attacked Tushan. 

Honghong allowed Dongfang to stay in Tushan. She also helped him fake his death so the Taoists would no longer pursue him. 

Dongfang Yuechu spent much of his time in Tushan. He falls in love later with Honghong, but she never gives him attention. He eventually noticed a pattern that each year, Honghong would go alone somewhere to visit someone. 

Afraid he had an unknown rival, he followed her into a cave. There, he saw Honghong in the grave she made for a young Taoist she accidentally killed when she was still young. This young Taoist saved her and her sister in the past from being kidnapped and sold as sex slaves.

Since the death of this young Taoist in her hand, Honghong vowed to never fall in love. She also wanted to realize the young Taoist's wish that one day the world would allow humans and spirits to live together in harmony. 

Understanding Honghong's deepest desires, Dongfang decided to leave Tushan to help spirits and humans unite in peace as Honghong wishes so that she would at last appreciate him and be able to move forward with her life. 

Dongfang thus became the leader of the Yi Qi Dao League and tried to create an alliance between a unified human and the spirit world along with the help of his cousin, Wangquan Fugui (but looks like this arc was not included in the drama adaptation).

However, the Shadow Foxes launched chaos, framing Dongfang Yuechu for the crime. This would cause both the Spirit Union and Yi Qi Dao League to go to war. 

Near the end of his life, he made a "Pledge of Love" with Tushan Honghong, and used the magical item in his possession, 'Void Tear' as the vessel. They chose to use this means to prevent the Shadow Fox Empress from obtaining it for her evil plans. 

Before he died, Tushan Honghong confessed her love. They promised to meet again in the next life. Tushan Honghong then lost her spirit power and memory and hundred years later became Tushan Susu. She would meet Bai Yuechu, the reincarnation of Dongfang Yuechu.

Drama Adaptation

There are more or less 10 chapters in the Chinese manhua, Fox Spirit Matchmaker, but so far only three chapters have been adapted into a drama. All these three adaptations will be streamed on iQIYI.

  • First Chapter: Yue Hong starring Yang Mi and Gong Jun (done filming)
  • Second Chapter: Zhu Ye starring Liu Shishi and Leon Zhang (in pre-production)
  • Third Chapter: Wang Quan starring Cheng Yi and Li Yitong (not yet filmed)
In the three drama adaptations, it looks like the story is told in reverse. For instance, in the second chapter Zhu Ye, Dongfang Huaizhi (played by Liu Shishi), and Wangquan Baiye or Hongye (played by Leon Zhang) are actually the parents of Wangquan Fugui. 

Dongfang Yuechu (played by Gong Jun in the first chapter Yue Hong) is the son of Dongfang Qinlan (played by Shen Yue) in the Zhu Ye chapter. Huaizhi and Qinlan are sisters, making Wangquan Fugui and Dongfang Yuechu, cousins.

The Fox Spirit Matchmaker has more than 10 chapters but so far only three chapters have been adapted into drama (Yue Hong, Zhu Ye, and Wang Quan). Yang Mi and Gong Jun's Yue Hong chapter is just waiting for the airing schedule on iQIYI but uncertain if it will be released this year. 

Liu Shishi and Leon Zhang's Zhu Ye chapter is currently in pre-production and will most likely air in the second quarter of 2024. Cheng Yi and Li Yitong's third chapter, Wang Quan, will be broadcast either in the last quarter of 2024 or in the first quarter of 2025.

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