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More than Blue,” the Taiwanese romantic film that was a surprise hit in China and across Asia, is to be adapted as a TV series. Singapore’s mm2 is producing in association with Taiwan’s Goodfilm Workshop.

The 10-part series will serve as an origin story and probe the student days of star-crossed characters Chang Che-Kai (K) and Sung Yuan-Yuan (Cream), originally played by Jasper Liu and Ivy Chen. It will also flesh out the back stories of several of the supporting characters. The cast has yet to be announced.

The series is to be directed by Hsieh Pei-ju, previous winner of the audience award at the 2019 Taipei Film Festival with her film “Heavy Craving.” Returning to the project are producer Rita Chuang, the 2018 films director Gavin Lin, and screenwriter Hermes Lu.

Production is set to start on July 7, 2020, on an announced budget of $6 million (NT$180 million), with delivery in 2021. mm2 Asia is set as the global distributor outside of China. While Fox Networks Asia was a partner on the 2018 movie, mm2 says negotiations with major international entertainment platforms are still ongoing.

The 2018 film was a local hit in 2018 when it made $7.95 million on theatrical release in Taiwan. It followed that up with a chart-topping opening in China and a mainland Chinese haul of $135 million. It added records for highest grossing Taiwanese film in other parts of East Asia, including Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

More Than Blue is a remake of a 2009 Korean film with the same English-language title. That film was the directorial debut of poet Won Tae-yon. “The Taiwanese film was successful because it was able to convey the strong core storyline of the Korean original with elements of contemporary Chinese culture,” the producers claim.

“We are incredibly optimistic about the fans’ interest in the new television series as evidence from the online forums on the subject,” said Chen Qi Yuan, GM at mm2 Taiwan. “There have been several outstanding dramas released in Taiwan recently that has done very well in the ratings, and we are expecting a new wave of interest for the format.”

“It is of the utmost importance for the television series to surpass both the original films’ tone in terms of emotional depth; to move the hearts of the fans and new audiences alike,” said Chuang.