• fanbingbing.jpg

fanbingbing.jpg (Photo : Reuters)

Famous Chinese actress Fan Bingbing will be back in the small screen as she portrays Wu Zetian in the Tang Dynasty-set drama "Empress of China."

Since starring in "The Last Night of Madam Chin" 2009, the historic drama will be Fan's reappearance in the television scene.

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The drama is believed to be the most expensive TV series in China, with the budget of over 300 million yuan (around $48 million), reported Guangming. It is the third drama produced by the actress' own production studio.

After her successful local and foreign movies, including Hollywood blockbuster "X-Men: Days of the Future Past," Fan said that she wanted to return to her local roots.

The drama revolved around the story of a simple girl, Wu Zetian, as she begins her life as a 14-year-old concubine to Emperor Taizong (Zhang Fengyi). Through struggles in life, love and politics, Wu wins against rival Emperor Gaozhong (Aarif Lee) to the throne, making her China's only female emperor.

Fan said in an interview that this is a dream role for any actress in China, and she is ready to tackle the role head-on.  

"An actress who does not want to play Wu Zetian is not a good actress," she said. "Wu Zetian must be the dream of every actress."

Character posters and pictures were unveiled by the production team. The cast wore extravagant costumes and the set was impressive. Fan is rumored to have at least 260 outfits at her disposal for this grand TV series.

Other huge stars that will be featured in this period drama are mainland actor Wu Xiubo, one of the officials who will end the reign of Empress Wu; Vivian Zhang, one of the imperial consorts; and Taiwanese actress Janine Chang as poetess Xui Hui. Actor Li Chen will also make a guest appearance as Empress Wu's first love.