10 Costume C-Drama Began Filming in Q4 2023. Most Likely To Air in 2025

Chinese Drama 2025 release

We are listing down 10 costume dramas (because this is the genre where Chinese productions do best) that began filming in the last quarter of the year. 

Since the filming of these upcoming costume series has just commenced, and considering the complicated steps of having these dramas approved for release, we are anticipating these series will be most likely to air in 2025 - the most.

Mysterious Lotus Casebook
Mysterious Lotus Casebook co-stars, Cheng Yi, Xiao Shunyao, and Joseph Zeng, will have a showdown in 2025 as they have respective costume series filmed in the last quarter of 2023

We arranged the titles alphabetically:

1. A Thousand Peach Blossoms Bloom Forever (Youku). Sub-genre: Fantasy/Xianxia. Main cast: Vin Zhang and Sun Zhen Ni. Supporting cast: Wang Duo, Zhang Yaqin, Wu Yuheng, and Chen Yuxian. Directed by Sam Ho

Chinese Drama 2025 release
Vin Zhang and Sun Zhen Ni
Plot summary from Douban:

In ancient times, the human emperor, Zhao Ming (Vin Zhang), prayed for the people and sacrificed himself to fight against the divine world. After Zhao Ming's death, his lover, Chaos Pearl (Sun Zhen Ni), desperately saved a ray of his soul, setting up a situation of eternal reincarnation. 

Zhao Ming was reincarnated as Xie Xue Chen, the leader of the Immortal Alliance, and the Chaos Pearl was reincarnated as Mu Xuan Ling, the saint of the dark realm. 

The two finally met again in the human world, but they had forgotten their past and became rivals of "neither good nor evil". However, during the chaos, surprisingly, Mu Xuan Ling rescued Xie Xue Chen, who was seriously injured in the dark realm. 

Along the way, the two of them went from having their own agendas to fighting side by side, eventually, falling in love. However, in the conspiracy to fight for the artifact "Chaos Pearl", the two fell into a life and death test once again. 

Mu Xuan Ling sacrificed her life to save the world while Xie Xue Chen changed his destiny and went back to the past to rescue Mu Xuan Ling. 

Xie Xue Chen's soul finally returns to Zhao Ming, but Zhao Ming's body has become a fallen angel. Mu Xuan Ling awakens the fallen angel with love, eliminates the catastrophe, and brings peace to the world.

2. Chasing The Moon (iQIYI) Sub-genre: Fantasy/Xianxia. Main cast: Bai Lu and Ao Ruiping. Supporting cast: Dai Luwa, Chang Hua Sen, Dai Si, and Quan Yilun. Directed by Zhu Ruibin.

Chasing The Moon Chinese drama
Ao Ruipeng, Zhu Ruibin, and Bai Lu at the booting ceremony of Chasing The Moon

We heard that the role of Fan Yue was first offered to Joseph Zeng but he turned it down in favor of Seven Nights Snow probably because Chasing The Moon is told in the female lead character.

Plot summary from Douban: 

Chasing the Moon follows the story of Bai Shuo (Bai Lu), the youngest daughter of the General's Mansion. She decides to become an immortal to repay someone's kindness. 

On the way to seek immortality, she accidentally rescues Fan Yue (Ao Ruipeng), the great god of the demon clan. Despite thousands of difficulties between them, love is enough to break all restrictions and embrace the truest story of each other.

3. Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Wang Quan (iQIYI). Sub-genre: Fantasy/Xianxia. Main cast: Cheng Yi and Li Yitong. Supporting cast (no names have been announced yet). Directed by Du Lin

Fox Spirit Matchmaker Chinese drama
Li Yitong and Cheng Yi during the filming of Hero Legends

We heard that Cheng Yi repeatedly turned this down but the producer made it known that he had 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 injuries he sustained while filming Hero Legends in June, and he needed enough time to recuperate before starting another hardcore martial arts series.

This is Cheng Yi and Li Yitong's second drama collaboration in succession after Hero Legends.

Plot summary:

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 (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,

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. 

4. Legend of the Female General (Youku). Sub-genre: Action/Wuxia. Main cast: Zhou Ye and Cheng Lei. Supporting cast: Zhang Kang Le, Zhang Miao Yi, Marcus Li, and Bai Shu. Directed by Jeffrey Chiang

Legend of the Female General Chinese drama
Cheng Lei and Zhou Ye

The concept of this drama sounds like a recycled plot from Mulan. We heard that the male lead role was first offered to Joseph Zeng but he turned it down in favor of Seven Nights Snow, perhaps because the Legend of the Female General is a female-centric drama and the male lead character, Xiao Jue, is just a subordinate role.

Plot Summary:

He Yan (Zhou Ye) is a young woman who pretends to be a man to replace her sick male cousin to join the army. When her cousin got better, He Yan was forced to give up her military career in favor of her cousin.  

Legend of the Female General Chinese drama
Zhou Ye as He Yan

She later married but suffered a terrible fate as her husband cheated on her. She was later killed by his mistress. In other words, her family used her all her life like an object before killing her out of convenience

After her death, she wakes up in the body of a young woman who has the same name as her. She decides to use this opportunity to go back to the army, once again pretending to be a man, and vows to take revenge on the people who mistreated her in her past life. However, she meets and falls in love with the cold and strict army commander, Xiao Jue (Cheng Lei).

5. Love of Nirvana (Tencent). Sub-genre: Action/Wuxia. Main cast: Ren Jialun, Li Landi, and Jeremy Tsui. Supporting cast: Gao Han, Zhang Fengyi, Wen Zengrong, Zhang Yaqin, and Zhu Yuanbing. Directed by Zhou Yuanzhou

Love of Nirvana Chinese drama
Ren Jialun and Li Landi

This drama has a pretty good lineup of support cast but quite surprising that Jeremy Tsui, who is already taking lead roles, settled for a second male lead role? Also, Zhang Yaqin is a good actress, she is the main female lead in An Ancient Love Song, this year's highest-rated costume C-drama in Douban.

Plot summary:

Xiao Wuxia (Ren Jialun), the young lord of Yueluo City, endured humiliation in the Liang Kingdom for many years. He decided to change his name to Wei Zhao. 

To find out the truth about his family, Wei Zhao tried to kidnap the only survivor in the Qi Wang case. However, his plan was ruined by the sudden appearance of the young girl, Jiang Ci (Li Landi).

They will get entangled with Liang's prime minister, Pei Yan (Jeremy Tsui) who engages in a power struggle with Wei Zhao as Pei Yan plans to partition Yueluo City among other countries to avoid a territorial conflict and wars.

Love of Nirvana Chinese drama
Jeremy Tsui and Zhang Yaqin

To protect Yueluo, Wei Zhao must do everything to outwit Pei Yan. Jiang Ci became deeply moved that Wei Zhao was risking his life to protect Yueluo. She later fell in love with him. 

However, the emperor set a trap to kill Pei Yan and Wei Zhao as he viewed them as threats to his throne. During the conflict, Jiang Ci was injured and Pei Yan took her to his mansion to find the culprit of the chaos. 

In the end, Wei Zhao, Jiang Ci, and Pei Yan put aside their personal grudges and jointly fought against Emperor Liang, realizing their wish to protect Yueluo and establish the Qing Dynasty.

6. Love of the Divine Tree (iQIYI) Sub-genre: Fantasy/Xianxia. Main cast: Deng Wei and Xiang Hanzhi. Supporting cast: Chen Xinhai, Zhang Weina, Deng Kai, Cao, Yuchen. Directed by Yin Tao

Love of the Divine Tree Chinese drama
Xiang Hanzhi and Deng Wei

From the director and scriptwriter of Love and Redemption and The Promise of Chang'an, Yin Tao and Liu Fang. Liu Fang also wrote the script of Mysterious Lotus Casebook. 

Plot Summary:

Twenty years ago, Mu Qing Ge (Xiang Han Zhi), the leader of the Xishan Sect, sacrificed the Golden Core to seal the Ling Quan on her disciple Su Yi Shui (Deng Wei) to protect the people and prevent the chaos caused by the spiritual spring of demonic creatures.

Mu Qing Ge's actions were misunderstood by the world as that of a demonic leader, leading to a joint attack by the four major sects. 

Su Yi Shui learned the truth before Mu Qing Ge's death, and after overcoming countless dangers, he found the Tree of Reincarnation, offering half of his Golden Core to help Mu Qing Ge be reborn.

Twenty years later, Mu Qing Ge was reborn as Xue Ran Ran. Su Yi Shui took in the frail and dying Ran Ran, vowing to protect her throughout her life. Now, with the seal on the spiritual spring loosening again, the demonic cultivator Dun Tian seeks to use the Ling Quan to create a demonic son, intending to harm the living.

Remembering Mu Qing Ge's instructions, Su Yi Shui risked his life to seal the Ling Quan back into the ghost realm. Su Yi Shui was framed by Dun Tian while sealing the spiritual spring and lost his memory. Despite the loss of memory, Su Yi Shui fell in love with Ran Ran once again.

Together, they faced numerous hardships, ultimately thwarting Dun Tian's conspiracy, protecting the people, and bringing clarity to the world.

7. Offer Fish (Youku) Sub-genre: Fantasy/Xianxia. Main cast: Arthur Chen and Wang Yinglu. Supporting cast (no announcement yet). 

Offer Fish Chinese drama
Arthur Chen and Wang Yinglu

Plot Summary from Douban:

A hundred years ago, a monk had a vision of the bloody and murderous nature of Sima Jiao (Arthur Chen), the great demon master of the Gengchen Immortal Mansion. So the monk left him a "Buddhist Bead", hoping that he would have compassion for people.

Years later, Liao Tingyan (Wang Yinglu) was forced to go to Liangshan Mountain to accept the challenge of tearing the red thread wooden beads with both her hands. She relied on her "salted fish" instinct to conquer Sima Jiao.

(Salted fish means people have no intention of doing anything. In Mandarin it's known as xiányú)

Adapted from the novel "Offering Salted Fish to Master", by Fu Hua, and will be directed by Wen Deguang the director of "The Story of Yanxi Palace" and "Sword and the Brocade". 

8. Seven Nights Snow (iQIYI) Sub-genre: Fantasy/Xianxia. Main cast: Li Qin and Joseph Zeng. Supporting cast: Wang Hongyi and Jenny Zeng. Directed by Ren Haitao and Liang Shengquan

Seven Nights Snow Chinese Drama
Joseph Zeng and Li Qin

There's a rumor in the C-entertainment that Joseph Zeng was offered several costume drama scripts, three of which are Chasing The Moon, Legend of the Female General, and Seven Nights Snow, he picked Seven Nights Snow because this drama is male-centric and would bring out the best in him in terms of acting experiences. It's good to hear that Joseph is wise to pick roles that could help boost his acting career, he seems to be handled by a good management team.

Plot Summary:

It follows the story of Huo Zhanbai (Joseph Zeng), the unruly but skilled swordsman and a disciple of the Tianshan sect. He seeks medicine for his friend's child. This paves the way for his meeting with the medicine master, Xue Ziye (Li Qin), the leader of the Valley of Medicine.

Huo Zhanbai spent seven years risking his life to obtain the Dragon Blood Pearl medicine as prescribed by Xue Ziye. However, a rival sect master plans to snatch the Dragon Blood Pearl since it's a remedy to obtain his freedom. He commands his mysterious assassin to snatch the Dragon Blood Pearl.

Both Huo Zhan Bai and the assassin were heavily injured after fighting and were sent back to the Medicine Valley for treatment. 

Xue Ziye was shocked to discover that the assassin who could control people’s minds with his eyes, was actually her long-lost childhood friend, Ming Jie.

Huo Zhan Bai and Xue Ziye went from competing against each other to eventually falling in love. However, due to the responsibilities they carry for their respective sects, they have a hard time expressing their love. 

However, Huo Zhan Bai was forced to accept the role of the master of the Dingjian Pavilion at the repeated request of the old Pavilion Master, Nangong Mo, putting a wedge between him and Xue Ziye.

9. The Legend of Jewelry (Youku) Sub-genre: Historical/Wuxia. Main cast: Liu Yuning and Zhao Lusi. Supporting cast: Tang Xiao Tian, Chloe Xie, Zhang Li, Gao Lu. Directed by Xie Ze

This drama has a lot of controversies attached even before the filming began. Not sure if it's part of the marketing strategies of the team to create awareness for this drama but apparently, the production cannot finalize a male lead for several months as every actor they approached to star in this series has turned down the offer. Even Liu Yuning hesitated at first and only agreed after several negotiations.

Legend of Jewelry Chinese drama
Zhao Lusi and Liu Yuning during the booting ceremony

This is the second drama collaboration of Zhao Lusi and Liu Yuning after The Long Ballad. Zhao Lusi has no costume drama aired this year while Liu Yuning has two - Legend of Anle and A Journey to Love.

Plot Summary from Douban:

In the early Tang Dynasty, a girl fishing for pearls in Hepu escaped from the pearl field during the Dragon Boat Festival to avoid being insulted. At a critical moment, the poet Zhang Jinran (Liu Yuning) came to help her escape. 

To find out more about her, Duanwu (Zhao Lusi) joined the Sogdian merchant Yan Zijing's caravan, relying on his flexible mind to make a lot of jewelry business, and gained a deep friendship with Yue Yunxiu, the lady of Nianyu. 

Jingdian opened the door to the jewelry world, but Duanwu was involved in the life-and-death situation set up by Yan Zijing and almost died. To explore the truth, Duanwu went to Yangzhou and became famous with the "tortoise shell armor". 

She later became famous in the jewelry business in Yangzhou. She also gets reunited with the man who saved her in the past, Zhang Jinran. 

A former ally, Zheng Zhiheng. beats her almost to death, fortunately, Zhang Jinran rescued her. She made a comeback in the jewelry business and became prosperous.

10. Water Dragon Ballad (Youku) Sub-genre: Fantasy/Wuxia. Main cast: Luo Yunxi, Xiao Shunyao, Ao Ziyi, Bao Shang En, Lin Yun, and Chen Yao. Directed by Chen Zhoufei

Water Dragon Ballad
Luo Yunxi, Xiao Shunyao, and Ao Ziyi

Plot summary:

Tang Lici (Luo Yunxi), an introverted and indifferent swordsman who can't tell the difference between good and evil, is framed by her former friends and forced to be involved in a conspiracy in the martial arts world. 

Ten years later, the shadow of evil forces still lingers, and the seemingly peaceful martial arts world surges with dark undercurrents.

Tang Lici sets out on an adventure into the martial arts world, fights wits in the Sword King's City, forms an alliance with Biluo Palace, enters the Central Plains Sword Club, and plays chess with Fengliu Shop. In the process, he encounters martial arts heroes, Chi Yun (Ao Ziyi) and Shen Lang Hun (Xiao Shunyao), and together set out on a mission to restore peace in the jianghu.

The series is adapted from the classic martial arts novel "Thousand Tribulation Eyebrows" by the well-known author Teng Ping.

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