The Sorcerer and the White Snake

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The Sorcerer and the White Snake
The Sorcerer and the White Snake poster.jpg
MandarinBái Shé Chuán Shuō Zhī Fǎ Hǎi
CantoneseBaak6 Se4 Cyun4 Syut3 Zi1 Faat3 Hoi2
Directed byChing Siu-tung
Produced byChui Po-chu
Yang Zi
Written byCharcoal Tan
Tsang Kan-cheung
Szeto Cheuk-hon
Based onLegend of the White Snake
StarringJet Li
Eva Huang
Raymond Lam
Charlene Choi
Wen Zhang
Vivian Hsu
Music byMark Lui
CinematographyVenus Keung
Edited byAngie Lam
China Juli Entertainment Media
Distributed byDistribution Workshop[1]
Release date
  • 3 September 2011 (2011-09-03) (Venice Film Festival)
  • 28 September 2011 (2011-09-28) (China)
  • 29 September 2011 (2011-09-29) (Hong Kong)
Running time
102 minutes
Hong Kong
BudgetHK$200 million[3]
Box officeUS$32,172,621 (worldwide)[4]

The Sorcerer and the White Snake, previously known as It's Love and Madame White Snake, is a 2011 action fantasy film directed by Ching Siu-tung and starring Jet Li.[5] It is based on the Chinese legend, Legend of the White Snake. Production started in September 10, 2010[6] and ended on January 16, 2011.[7] The film is in 3-D[8] and was shown out of competition at the 68th Venice International Film Festival on 3 September 2011.[9] It was released in mainland China on 28 September 2011 and Hong Kong on 29 September.[10]


Abbott Fahai and his assistant Neng Ren meet an ice harpy at the top of a mountain. The harpy turns the impetuous Neng Ren into an ice statue. Unrepentant, Fahai is forced to capture her with a demon trapper, which releases Neng Ren from the transformation. Neng Ren is then tasked to confine the ice harpy at Lei Feng Pagoda, confining it in a magic circle along with other trapped demons.

On the other side of the mountain, two female snake demons (Qingqing and Susu) are playing around when they spot a physician, Xu Xian, picking herbs at the foot of the mountain with his friends. Qingqing, being a playful snake, scares him, causing him to fall into the lake below. Susu, being gentler, assumes human form and kisses Xu Xian, which allows Vital Essence to flow from her into his body thus saving him. When Xu Xian wakes up he tells his friends about the kiss, which only makes them laugh.

After finding a victim of a bat demon, Fahai and Neng Ren leave the temple to subdue the bat demon. Xu Xian comes across them and offers a boat ride to the city. Susu starts thinking about the day she kissed Xu Xian and decides to head to the city to find him. Meanwhile, while Qingqing is exploring the city, she comes across Neng Ren and decides to help him subdue the bat demon by revealing its location. Neng Ren defeats the bat demon's cohorts, but is unable to subdue the bat demon king and bitten. Though he is subsequently saved by Fahai, Neng Ren starts turning into a bat demon himself the next day and decides to run away. Meanwhile, Xu Xian recognizes Susu and they spend the night together, obvious to the fact that she is a snake in human form.

Neng Ren is found by Qinqing and the two befriend each other. They realize that Neng Ren, despite becoming a bat demon, still has all his human taste for human food, and most of his human qualities. Meanwhile, Xu Xian and Susu wed. Fahai gives Xu Xian a dagger that can kill demons. Recognizing that Susu is a demon, Fahai chases her away and warns her to leave Xu Xian. When she doesn't, Fahai and his disciples attack her and Xu Xian's cottage. Susu fights the battle in snake form, but is stabbed by Xu Xian, who is unaware of her true identity. Susu escapes but is gravely injured. Xu Xian, after realizing what he has done, decides to get the spirit root to heal her.

Helped by Susu's friend, a mouse, Xu Xian manages to retrieve a root kept inside the Lei Feng Pagoda, but is possessed by demons since the root was the thing that kept the demons in place. Fahai and the other monks capture Xu Xian and prepare to cast spells to banish the demons from his body. When Susu recovers, she goes to find Xu Xian along with Qinqing. They are confronted by Fahai, who tries to explain to them that the spell should not be broken before it is complete. Susu, however, does not believe him and accuses him of trying to separate them. The two sisters battle Fahai, emerging victorious. Defeated, Fahai questions whether he was right to have been a demon hunter all his life. Susu releases Xu Xian from the spell, but he does not have any memory of Susu. Susu blames this on Fahai, after which they have one last battle. Fahai manages to trap Susu in Lei Feng Pagoda. At this point, Susu repents and asks to see Xu Xian just one last time. Simultaneously, Fahai receives the answer to his question and understands what he must do. Filled with the divine spirit, he lifts up the pagoda, temporarily freeing Susu. After an emotional talk with Xu Xian, Susu kisses him, causing him to remember everything. Susu is then sucked back into the temple. Qingqing, watching all this from a distance with Neng Ren, tells him that she doesn't want to love anyone as her sister loved Xu Xian, and leaves saying that he will never be a true bat demon anyway.

In the epilogue, Xu Xian picks herbs around the pagoda, while Susu has returned to her snake form trapped inside the temple. Fahai is seen walking around the mountainside when suddenly Neng Ren (now a complete bat demon) appears alongside him. Throwing him an apple, Fahai tells him that he has grown used to his new look, and they journey together again.



Leading actors Ethan Juan, Peter Ho, Mark Chao and Raymond Lam auditioned for the lead role in the film[citation needed]. In the end, Lam got the role. It was reported that Juan and Chao were dropped as they were deemed to be not well known enough in China and Ho's image did not suit the male lead.[3]

Jet Li was announced to be part of the cast during early pre-production. However, his role was not revealed until September 2010, when some actors' roles were announced, including Jet Li as Fa Hai, Eva Huang as White Snake, Raymond Lam as Xu Xian, Charlene Choi as Green Snake and Wen Zhang, whom Li invited to play his disciple Neng Ren.[11]

Regarding the action scenes, Jet Li said he had never been this exhausted before.[citation needed] Li said,

After fighting the White Snake, fight the Green Snake. After fighting the Green Snake, then fight the Demon. After fighting this Demon, then fight another Demon. After fighting this Demon, then fight the Water Monster. Everyday on set I was letting out a big sigh.[8]

Raymond Lam said he was always being hit by others,

Especially Ah Sa, she even requested for the director to add fight scenes. As a result, added scenes to hit me! Furthermore she fought much more fiercely than before![8]

Filming wrapped on January 16, 2011.[citation needed] Originally titled Madame White Snake in English, the film logo was unveiled during the production wrap press conference with the new official English title, It's Love.[12] However, the English title was changed to The Sorcerer and the White Snake when the distributor was announced.[1] The actual title used has been The Emperor and the White Snake, both on DVD and at IMDb.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Distribution Workshop takes on Jet Li project White Snake".
  2. ^ "The Sorcerer And The White Snake". Screen International
  3. ^ a b "Raymond Lam to collaborate with Jet Li".
  4. ^ "Bai she chuan shuo -".
  5. ^ Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 89. ISBN 978-1908215017.
  6. ^ "Tale of the White Snake Began Filming".
  7. ^ "《白蛇传说》杀青 " ITS LOVE"引发脑震荡".
  8. ^ a b c "3D Blockbuster movie starring Jet Li, Eva Huang, Charlene Choi and Raymond Lam breaks its mystery". Archived from the original on 2011-03-06. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  9. ^ "'The Sorcerer and the White Snake' joins Venice's line-up".
  10. ^ "白蛇傳說之法海 The Sorcerer and the White Snake".
  11. ^ "Jet Li Joins Legend of Madam White Snake". Archived from the original on 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  12. ^ "It's Love - Madame White Snake Production Wrap Press Conference Photos".
  13. ^ [1]

External links[edit]