People are stunned to see actor Dylan Sprouse join the Chinese entertainment industry as a new trailer for an upcoming film shows the former Disney Channel star playing a foreign prince.
About the movie: The Chinese film, “The Curse of Turandot,” is a fantasy romance movie adapted from an Italian opera by Giacomo Puccini, according to Deadline.
- Sprouse’s casting was announced in 2018 as the role of Calaf, starring next to Chinese actor Guan Xiaotong as Princess Turandot.
- The story centers around Turandot who is cursed upon receiving three Mazovian bracelets as birthday presents. Infused with some mysterious power, the bracelets cause the princess to become cruel and lose her humanity. Princes from foreign lands come to court her by solving three riddles for each of the bracelets, which if answered correctly would free her. If not, however, the princes would die. Calaf, a regular citizen, steps up to solve the riddles and incidentally discovers more about his own past.
The reveal: Sprouse shared his excitement on Instagram on Monday, posting the trailer and writing, “Those who know me closely know how much I’ve spoken of this project and the life-changing experience I had in China filming this.”
- He added that he spent six months learning Mandarin, which he speaks in the trailer. Some social media users, however, have speculated that the film has been dubbed over by a native speaker.
- Sprouse’s Instagram Highlights also feature behind-the-scenes moments during filming with various cast members.
View this post on Instagram
The controversy: Overall, his role in the film appears to have generated mostly positive feedback, though some are skeptical. While the film’s production team and cast members are mostly Chinese, the original “Turandot” opera on which the movie is based has received criticism for perpetuating Orientalist themes.
- Some are questioning the inclusion of a white actor in a film based in ancient China, while others are more critical of the storyline itself.
- “Allowing any form of white savior/white worship/WMAF in your media is extremely damaging to the psyche of Asian people and it’s doing white supremacists work for them,” one Reddit comment reads.
- Another user wrote: “That’s cool but why so many [sic] white people in a movie based on ancient China? This sh*t’s gonna be like the Matt Damon movie all over again,” referring to the 2016 film “The Great Wall.”
- Viral tweets surrounding the trailer range from shock and confusion to delight at seeing the popular childhood star take on the unexpected role.
SPROUSE SPEAKS CHINESE???? WHAT??? IM HERE FOR THAT
— the leg man @ tgcf bunk beds (@sunrebi) August 23, 2021
Hold on a second here he look like an actual prince fr pic.twitter.com/DkYXCP4Fzt
— ⁷ (@tmiahxx) August 23, 2021
Dylan sprouse in a Chinese film is so random yet so intriguing pic.twitter.com/ao3aWbKg1o
— Sohappy IN生⁰³²⁵ ⁷ (@rubberducky_skz) August 23, 2021
I joke about this but wow Dylan sprouse really went from a huge Disney show and got rich and famous to starring in a wuxia fantasy with Guan Xiaotong after learning mandarin it really hurts to see others live the life you want
— Xiao (@velsmells) August 25, 2021
I’m unironically fascinated by dylan sprouse plonked randomly in a cdrama and will be watching https://t.co/4lr586Ez1e
— chloe gong is revising and shouldn’t be online (@thechloegong) August 23, 2021
china deciding to turn a puccini opera about china into a wuxia fantasy starring dylan sprouse is the funniest thing i’ve ever seen this entire month https://t.co/XTvfZOJce5
— lily // 源清流杰 (@lilywinterwood) August 23, 2021
cole went to riverdale or something, right? dylan goes to c-dramas…….dylan is king.
— let’s start a revolution~ (@problydave) August 23, 2021
be honest who had dylan sprouse cdrama on their bingo card ??? https://t.co/YqEfAlSFKu
— k-ci (@kci_w) August 23, 2021
Just saw the trailer, thankfully it’s a few foreign actors and not just one dude thrown in there … looks interesting honestly
— koko⅞✨ white hair!WKX supremacy! (@soot7what) August 23, 2021
Dylan Sprouse was always my favorite twin. Now that he’s starring in a C-Drama I’m once again reminded why I loved him for all these years pic.twitter.com/kDkEUvDxAQ
— Ichigo’s Wife|| BLM || (@CayLuhsYah) August 25, 2021
This man went from a Disney child star to a mead brewer to a comics author to a voice actor in kingdom hearts to a lead in a fucking cdrama what the fuck is his career even?
— Miya ☠️ (@Ouji_no_miya) August 23, 2021