[IP ADAPTATION] All you need to know –

In recent years, avid followers of the C-Drama world will have noted the ever-increasing use of the term IP-drama. What is it? and is it worth following?

Simply put, IP refers to the intellectual property or the rights of a creator to their work. In terms of IP-drama, this intellectual property refers to novels and their authors.

You may be thinking, what? This isn’t all that new, what about script-writers and all their work? Well yes, that too is intellectual property, however, in the drama world, and specifically C-Drama, this looks more towards novels/manhua or games that have a high following and their adaptation to movies and dramas.

Some of the big ones you may remember are Gu Man’s; Boss & Me [杉杉来了],
My Sunshine [何以笙箫默] and in most recent years, Wei Wei’s Alluring Smile

Not to mention big hits such as Journey of Flower, The Lost Tomb, Ice Fantasy and the biggest recent success of all, Nirvana in Fire (my personal favourite, 1 not 2) and Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten MIles of Peach Blossoms (which snagged both a movie and drama).

So what makes these adaptations so successful?

They were popular before they even broadcasted!

These novels weren’t picked by chance. When looking at the stories that have been adapted, every single one had a mass following prior to production. Unlike traditional dramas that have to build hype through media events and attaching big names to their cast, these novels already have a steady fanbase and big names are just a bonus draw to those, not in the know.

When done well, these IP-dramas set themselves up to make history. The multiplicative effect of a well-scripted story, correct casting and amazing production (i.e. Nirvana in Fire) compared to a not so well-scripted story, and affirmative on the latter two (i.e. Journey of Flower) can make the series famous, but for all the wrong reasons (the ending and spin-offs….).

Why is this all even relevant?

Because it means that rather than having the remakes all the time, new stories are being told. Although many may say that all the IP-dramas are same-same anyway, at least when comparing like genres such as youth, e-sports, modern romance etc., novels with the biggest followings always guarantee a new take or tweak on a cliche plotline.

Some of the IP-dramas I’m most looking forward to are, Martial Universe (starring Yang Yang) and the continuation of Eternal Love in Eternal Love 2 that was just announced.

What are some of your most loved novels or manhua that you would like to see adapted?


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