Zhao Liying and Yang Mi's Fans Clash on Who Takes the Second FL in The Murderer

 Yang Mi and Zhao Liying movie 2024

This could be one of the most discussed Chinese movies in recent years as two C-Drama queens, Yang Mi, and Zhao Liying, are included in Peter Chan's new movie, The Murderer in Jiangyuan Lane. 

The lead star is veteran actress, Zhang Ziyi, who has more experience in doing movies, with international exposure, than Zhao Liying and Yang Mi.

The question now is who takes the second female lead? This is where the heated discussions online come from. The production has not specified who takes the most coveted role as the second female lead, perhaps to avoid fan wars, which are common in C-drama fandoms. Fans often fight even on trivial matters when their favorites are in the disadvantage situation. 

Poster of The Murderer in Jiangyuan Lane

But based on the Douban page of The Murder in Jiangyuan Lane, the billing of stars:

  • Zhang Ziyi
  • Lei Jiayin
  • Zhao Liying
  • Wang Chuanjun
  • Yang Mi

Yang Mi and Zhao Liying movie 2024
Cast billing arrangement in Douban

The above billing position means Zhao Liying is the second female lead, which irritated some fans of Yang Mi. As we all know, Yang Mi and Zhao Liying are two of China's biggest drama stars. 

They have the largest fandoms and their fans often clash in almost everything. The two actresses are always pitted against each other on who is better, who is the most famous, who is the most influential, and so on.

This casting will only fuel the clash of the two fandoms. As we all know C-drama fandoms often go ballistic when it comes to billing positions. So, what more if two biggest liuliang stars are in the same movie?

Zhao Liying and Yang Mi

The filming already wrapped up in late February this year but no news was shared with the public, not even still shots. No one knew exactly what transpired during the filming which led to endless arguments and discussions between the two fandoms.  

So what this movie is all about?

Hong Kong-Thai director, Peter Chan, announced the production of The Murderer in Jiangyan Lane in 2022, at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. 

According to reports, it took seven years of planning for this movie before the script was finalized and approved by the China Film Bureau (for script registration and filming).

The filming began in November 2023, a month after Zhang Ziyi announced her divorce from her husband of eight years, Wang Feng. Pre-production wrapped up in late February this year.

As this is a big movie project and co-produced by Hong Kong and mainland China, netizens are arguing about who would be in this movie. The discussion reached a fever pitch when it was known Yang Mi and Zhao Liying entered the production.

The last time these two collaborated was in the 2010 costume drama, The Dream of Red Mansions. Years went on and they became C-Drama's biggest names and Queens of Drama Ratings. 

Zhang Ziyi in The Murderer in Jiangyuan Lane
Poster of Zhang Ziyi in The Murderer. Photo credit: Douban

The production has yet to share a concise plot summary of this movie, but according to its page in Douban, the story is based on real events. 

It is a crime-thriller/suspense set in Shanghai in the 1940s. It follows a bizarre case that stirred Chinese society. A woman (played by Zhang Ziyi) murdered her husband, and during the investigation, she was helped by a writer (the second female lead) to exert her rights. The incident gave rise to the revolution of women’s social rights in China. 

So while the fandoms of Zhao Liying and Yang Mi are arguing and debating about who should get the second female lead, let's wait and see when this movie will come out in theaters. 

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