Over the past year, there has been quite a bit of backlash against the alleged whitewashing of characters in upcoming films. Marvel’s “Dr. Strange” and the live-action adaptation of manga series “Ghost in the Shell” have experience significant backlash for casting white actress in traditionally Asian roles, and the issue has come up yet again with the upcoming live-action remake of the 1998 animated Disney film “Mulan.”
Two days ago, the Asian Angry Man blog posted an open letter to the creators of the new “Mulan” film to protest the direction of the film after claiming to have read the script. In the script, the lead of the film is “a 30-something European trader” who only helps the Chinese Imperial Army because he’s infatuated with Mulan. This provoked an immediate negative reaction on social media, as the main thrust of the original film, and the legend of Hua Mulan on which it was based, features a Chinese woman taking on the Hun invasion in order to protect her family.
Since then, a source close to the film told Vulture that the film will 1) have Mulan as the lead character in the story, 2) feature an Asian love interest, and 3) all primary roles will be Chinese. “The spec script [in question] was a jumping-off point for a new take on the story that draws from both the literary ballad of Mulan and Disney’s 1998 animated film,” says the source. “Mulan is and will always be the lead character in the story, and all primary roles, including the love interest, are Chinese.”
The live-action “Mulan” is scheduled to be released on November 2nd, 2018