Lu Han in the TV series Fighter of the Destiny Photos: IC

“Most of the roles she (Guan) played were rebellious girls. And her acting is poor,” a fan of the volleyball surnamed Fang told the Global Times on Monday, saying that she did not think Guan fit Hui’s image, which represents the inspiring and energetic team spirit.

Echoing Fang, floods of netizens said they would not go to the cinema to watch the movie if Guan plays Hui. They even said that Hui should portray herself in the film.

Some also urged Guan to go to the team training base to receive professional training as a volleyball player before playing the role.

Guan once played a talented dancer in a drama. However, netizens said her dancing looked like that she was stretching noodles, which they thought could mean she did not prepare well for that role.

Hui played for the national women’s volleyball team from 2007 to 2018. She won the 2012 Summer Olympics Best Server award and was part of the team that won gold at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

The film would reportedly start with the scene that Hui sealed the victory for the team in the final minutes of the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. It is scheduled to show on the Lunar New Year’s Day (January 25) in 2020, the film’s official account said on Sina Weibo in April.

Shi Wenxue, a Beijing-based film critic, said it was “understandable” that netizens put forward much request on actors and actresses who would star in the film given Chinese people’s cherish on the “women’s volleyball spirit.”

“China is in a complex worldwide surroundings at current, the legendary story of the Chinese female volleyball team could bring nationals self-confidence and ambition to overcome international difficulties,” Shi told the Global Times on Monday, noting that’s why the public urges the actors and actress with more matured acting skills and inspiring experiences to act the sports players.