Jiang Ziya (film)

Jiang Ziya (Chinese: 姜子牙; pinyin: Jiāng Zǐyá, sometimes spelt as Jiang Zi Ya)[3] is a 2020 Chinese 3D computer-animated fantasy adventure film directed by Cheng Teng and Li Wei. Featuring the mythological and fictional version of the popular Chinese figure Jiang Ziya, the plot is loosely based on the novel Investiture of the Gods by Xu Zhonglin.[4] It is a follow-up to 2019's Ne Zha and the second installment of the Fengshen Cinematic Universe.[5][6]

Jiang Ziya
Legend of Deification poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
MandarinJiāng Zǐyá
Directed by
  • Cheng Teng
  • Li Wei
Screenplay byXie Xiying
Based onInvestiture of the Gods
by Xu Zhonglin
Produced by
  • Wang Jing
  • Gao Weihua
Music byRaymond Wong
Beijing Enlight Pictures
Coloroom Pictures
Zhongchuan Hedao
Cocoa beans Animation
Distributed byBeijing Enlight Pictures
Release date
  • October 1, 2020 (2020-10-01)
Running time
110 minutes
Box office$243.8 million[2]

The film was initially scheduled for release in China on 25 January 2020,[7] but following the COVID-19 pandemic all Chinese New Year releases were cancelled. The new release date was on 1 October 2020.[8] The film's official English title in China is Legend of Deification, and it is released as Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification in the United Kingdom,[9] Australia, New Zealand,[10] and Singapore.[11]


Jiang is tasked in the war to take down the fox spirit clan leader who instigated a large war. Jiang captures her and is tasked in her execution in heaven. However, he sees an innocent girl possessed by the fox spirit and cannot let her be killed by the Great Revered Master. The Master banishes him to earth for releasing the fox spirit and falling for its illusion.

Jiang spends ten years on earth despondent with his Leopard God friend who watches over him. Jiang finds an amnesiac young fox spirit girl who looks like the girl asking for help during the execution of the fox spirit. They fight but eventually decide to journey together to find her father figure and the truth, with Leopard God on the trail. At the destination is the old king who has become disillusioned and tries to kill the fox girl. The demon shadow foxes that have been following the fox girl take her away. Jiang follows and sees the fox clan leader ("nine tails") alive. She explains that the girl is actually a concubine for the old king who was given up and abandoned by her father. And that the fox clan leader can never die without the young girl dying due to being tied together by a fate bracelet, created by the Master.

Jiang manages to save the girl with the Leopard God but loses his trusty steed. The Leopard God now believes Jiang was right about the girl and needs to find the truth. So Tiger God sacrifices some of his power to spirit Jiang to the heavens to speak to the Master. The Master explains that Jiang wasn't denied Godhood because he didn't killed the fox clan leader but because he showed kindness. A true Upper God should not have any kindness and focus only on the greater good. Jiang is able to plead for an answer to stop the girl from having to die eternally. The Master tells him to pass her through the gate of reincarnation and she will be saved in the next life.

Jiang goes to the gate but is followed by the fox spirit clan leader. Leopard God realizes he followed Jiang not because he was jealous or that Jiang was lauded as the greatest hero, but because Jiang is a true hero. So he stays behind to sacrifice himself, slowing down the fox clan leader and buying Jiang some time. Jiang promises that the next life will save the girl and she will have a better life with a proper loving father. She passes through but the fox clan leader shows up and attacks the gate of reincarnation. Jiang can't stop her and she explains the truth of the war when it breaks and only wronged fox ghosts appear. She explains that they were wronged because they started the war based on the Master's promise to make the fox clan leader a God and to rise up the fox clan. However, the Master lied and used the fox clan as a scapegoat to unite all Heaven, Human, and Demon worlds together against a common enemy for the 'Greater Good'. So under her duress doomed her clan and try to destroy heaven with the power of all the fox ghosts. Jiang tries to save the girl still within the omega ghost fox striking heaven. Heaven activates their heavenly weapon to kill the fox spirit.

Jiang cannot save the girl but realizes the power to do so does not come from Heaven granted powers but within himself to save any one person be it from Heaven, Human, or Demon realm. He finally regains his powers turning stark white and releases the grudges of the ghosts up towards the girl. The girl wakes up and asks if she has been reincarnated to her better life before the Heaven kills her and all the ghosts. Jiang is despondent but sees the bird of the afterlife take all the ghost spirits hoping the girl isn't gone forever. The Heavens applaud Jiang's long con of finally luring and killing the fox clan leader. So summons him to be a true God. Jiang now knows how corrupt the true Gods and Master are with their justice and breaks the bridge to Heaven, forever severing the Heaven's grip on the Human realm.

Years pass, in the epilogue people revere Jiang as a true hero and a top tier god above even the Revered Master who has been punished. Leopard God is revealed to be alive but de-powered raising a young pupil to be like Jiang. It can be alluded that the steed is reincarnated as a puppy and seeing a young girl with a loving father playing with her doll may be the fox girl reincarnated as well. After credits it is heard in gossip of Heaven that Jiang is actually in a fourth realm of God/Demon mega prison and three Gods take posts from the Great Revered Master to guard it.




The film tells the story of the mythological and fictional literary version of Jiang Ziya from the Investiture of the Gods, a gargantuan Ming-dynasty (1368–1644) shenmo novel that is traditionally attributed to Xu Zhonglin, and incorporates various existing myths into a wider narrative.[12] Jiang Ziya is traditionally depicted in Chinese fiction as a Taoist adept in Chinese folk religion and Taoism. In the original novel, Jiang is a 72-year-old man. In this film, Jiang Ziya is portrayed as a middle-aged man who insists on following his heart despite having a complex past.


On 12 December 2019, the producers released their first trailer.

In an effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, distributors have rescheduled all release dates of films, including that of Jiang Ziya. It was originally set for release on 25 January 2020 in China. The new release date was on 1 October 2020.

The film was released on that date simultaneously in China,[1] the United States, Canada,[6] the United Kingdom,[9][3] Australia, New Zealand,[13] and Singapore.[11]

Box officeEdit

In China, pre-sale tickets totaled up to 90 million yuan (US$13.3 million).[14] In just eight hours since its release, the film has grossed a total of 297 million yuan (US$43.7 million). The box office performance in its first day of release surpassed that of its predecessor film, Ne Zha (144 million yuan, or US$21.2 million) by the record of 308 million yuan (US$45.4 million).[15]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 83% based on six reviews, with an average rating of 6.3/10.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "姜子牙 (豆瓣)" (in Chinese). Douban. 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Jiang Ziya (2020) - Financial Information".
  3. ^ a b "Past, present and future releases to Past, Present and Future Releases | UK Recent and Upcoming Movie". Film Distributors' Association. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  4. ^ "New Chinese animated film Legend of Deification to hit theaters in January". Xinhua News. Xinhua News Agency. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  5. ^ 《姜子牙》春节档上映,封神宇宙诞生,网友这份电影名单令人期待 (in Chinese). Tencent QQ. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  6. ^ a b "JIANG ZIYA (2020) – Official Movie Site – Coming in 2020". Well Go USA Entertainment. 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Chinese mythology series Jiangziya relay Nezha at the beginning of the new year". jqknews. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  8. ^ 苏姗, ed. (16 August 2020). 国漫力作《姜子牙》10月1日国庆上映. Xinhua News (in Chinese). Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  9. ^ a b "姜子牙 Jiang Ziya | Chinalion Film 北美华狮电影 – Theatrical Release". Chinalion Film Distribution. 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  10. ^ "LEGEND OF DEIFICATION | ANZ FINAL TRAILER | 30 JAN". YouTube. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Jiang Ziya: Legend Of Deification (2020) Showtimes, Movie Tickets and Reviews". Popcorn. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  12. ^ "New movie Legend of Deification to hit Chinese cinemas". MENAFN. 26 September 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  13. ^ "China Lion Film 澳洲华狮电影". China Lion Film Distribution. Retrieved 1 October 2020. In Cinemas OCT 01
  14. ^ "《姜子牙》年冠稳了?首日票房将突破3亿,延续了《哪吒》的辉煌 – 娱乐资讯(存满娱乐网)". www.cunman.com. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  15. ^ 旅行指路人 (1 October 2020). "上映8小时票房狂收2.97亿,《姜子牙》打破动画片纪录,片方赚翻". Sina Corp. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  16. ^ "Jiang Ziya". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 30 October 2021.

External linksEdit