Guan Xiaotong, Dylan Sprouse Star in Turandot

I feel like I watched both of them grow up.

Guan Xiaotong and Dylan Sprouse (the non-Riverdale brother from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) have begun filming the Zheng Xiaolong (Empresses in the Palace) film adaptation of opera Turandot.

Deadline has the synopsis translated, and it seems like the major change is the princess’s cruelty got blamed on a magical curse. Co-productions tend to be huge messes so I’m not having high hopes.

Described as a fantasy romance, the plot follows Princess Turandot (Xiaotong), who is cursed by a mysterious power emanating from three Mazovian bracelets that were given to her as birthday gifts. These bracelets’ life-draining effects cause the princess to becomes cruel, and gradually she loses her humanity.

Foreign princes who come to court her must solve three riddles — one for each bracelet — and only then will she be freed from the power of the bracelets. In the event any of the questions is answered incorrectly, the attempted solver would be put to death. One day, Calaf (Sprouse), an ordinary citizen, risks his life to answer the riddles to save her and inadvertently uncovers his own extraordinary past.

13 thoughts on “Guan Xiaotong, Dylan Sprouse Star in Turandot

  1. I don’t think just casting a well-known actress will work. In my opinion, it’s a whole host of probs. Different working cultures, different production systems, methods.. values and priorities.. Everything is different. The language barrier is the least of the issues.

    Atavist published an article some time ago on the massive bomb called Empires of the Deep. It was an interesting read.. Provided a lot of insight into the issue.. Why do Chinese-Western co-productions fail? Until they find a way to reconcile all these concerns and tell a truly good story, most Chinese-Western productions will prob fail.

    Link to Atavist’s article

    • Such a colossal waste of resources and money that could have been put to better use. The Chinese government should ban vanity projects by megalomaniac billionaires with delusional ambitions.

          • Yang Mi had a supporting role here. Think she was one of the mermaids. The billionaire’s gf Shi Yanfei had the lead role.

            The only cool thing about this movie is the prosthetics the mermaids have to wear haahah. I kinda like the prosthetics.

            Prediction: Turandot will probably end up like all the other Chinese-Hollywood co-productions. Too much CGI and a plot without any substance.
            Also .. look at Dylan and Guan Xiaotong’s faces.. They both look like they’d rather be somewhere else. Not a good sign for their chemistry

            • The ambitious dream of producing acclaimed blockbusters with Hollywood has failed. Chinese filmmakers ought to finally wise up and focus on making better domestic films.

    • That’s a cool article, thanks! . We actually wrote on Empires of the Deep way back in the days. Kind of sad that none of three films mentioned ended up being made (although Ice Fantasy is apparently getting another shot at a film version apparently )

      tbh, a lot of it is just money laundering. Also I think Chinese production companies just don’t seem to do that much research when working with Hollywood? All the Chinese funded American films looked visibly bad when I saw their trailers in theaters. They’re all star-driven but seem to lack a producer (and a good trailer editor). Ex. Bad Moms, The Space Between Us, I Feel Pretty, Molly’s Game, Skyscraper

      • I’m interested in the Ice Fantasy movie, do you have a website source where I can get more info about it?. Thanks.

      • Sad to see cinema being used as a vessel for dirty money.

        Agreed, more research is needed. On both sides at least. There’s such a huge communication gap between Hollywood and Chinese studios and investors.

        Yes, do you have any news on the new Ice Fantasy adaptation?

  2. Has anyone else noticed these China-foreign co-productions usually cast actors/actresses that aren’t very popular?.

    The producers’ inability to cast a big name Chinese actor/actress in this project is a sign that this will bomb just like all the other co-productions. It’s insane to keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results. I don’t know why they keep making these type of movies. There isn’t much interest in China or abroad for this. In fact, Chinese domestic movies (Wolf Warrior 2, Detective Chinatown 2, Operation Red Sea, etc.) have been way more successful than any co-production, so I just don’t understand why…

    It’s sad to see the producers just throwing money down the drain. What a waste!!

      • lol yeah. This trope is getting so old and stale. They should change it up by flipping it around – Chinese actors + white actresses. It’s a new era so there should be new themes to reflect that.

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