HERE COMES THE BRIDE
Local directors Quek Shio Chuan and Ho Yuhang share with us their experience of walking The Ghost Bride down the aisle, the first locally produced Chinese series for Netflix
THE FOLKLORE MAY have been around for centuries, and the book released to rave reviews in 2013, but we would not be surprised if most Malaysians do not know about the story behind Malaysian author Yangsze Choo’s The Ghost Bride. A historical novel that meddles with the fantastical, The Ghost Bride touches on a Chinese tradition not many speak of, but may still practise till this day: ghost marriage, in which the bride, the groom or both are deceased.
For the lead character Li Lan’s case, she is to marry into the wealthy Lim family to save her family from ruins. It’s a filial duty any woman would partake to honour her family, but it does bring about complications when the groom, Tian Bai, is dead.
The Ghost Bride the novel has piqued the interest of many since its release; it was even picked as Oprah’s Book of the Week. This year, we will see the fantastical world of The Ghost Bride set in the 1890s colonial Melaka come to life on Netflix from January 23 onwards.
The emerging Taiwanese actress Huang Peijia is Li Lan in Netflix’s first Malaysian produced Chinese series. Malaysian actor Kuang Tian, on the other hand, is Tian Ching, the ghostly groom who draws Li Lan into the parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, where he has built a kingdom for his bride. Besides that, Canadian-Chinese Hollywood star Ludi Lin, known for his roles in Power Rangers and Aquaman, plays the Lim family’s handsome new heir, Tian Bai; while
Taiwanese actor Chris Wu takes on the role of the cheeky Er Lang.
An adaptation of a Malaysian author’s book, featuring Malaysian actors, shot and produced solely in Malaysia, then cap that off with two Malaysian directors ‒ Quek Shio Chuan and Ho Yuhang overseeing the production of this six-part series... that’s enough to make one burst with homegrown pride, doesn’t it?
What was your initial reaction when you were approached to work on The Ghost Bride? Quek:
Up to this point, I’ve only just done commercial advertisements’ the furthest I’ve gone in terms of non-commercial filmmaking is my BMW Shorties winning short film Guang that I have adapted into a feature length film.