Between allegations levelled against Doctor Strange, Ghost in the Shell and, more recently, fantasy epic The Great Wall, it’s fair to say that, in recent years, Hollywood hasn’t exactly established a stellar track record for representing Asian people on the silver screen.
Improvement is needed, then, and though many feared the worst when Disney announced plans to reboot Mulan in time for 2018, a source close to the embryonic production brings heartening news that the House of Mouse has vowed to enlist a predominantly Asian cast. First reported by Vulture, said source rubbishes talk that Hua Mulan would go on to become a supporting player in her own movie, after a post on the Angry Asian Man blog claimed that Disney’s modern redo would instead double down on a white, 30-something European trader.
Online opinion came down hard on that alleged pitch – and rightfully so – as any move to dilute the quintessentially Chinese story of Hua Mulan disguising herself as a man to take her father’s place in the army would be the cinematic equivalent of blasphemy. News from Vulture is much more positive, though, writing that “Mulan is and will always be the lead character in the story, and all primary roles, including the love interest, are Chinese.”
As the search for a director intensifies, The Hollywood Reporter has now confirmed that Sony is pitching its own live-action interpretation of the Chinese ballad to rival that of Disney’s. THR goes on to reveal that Ang Lee passed up the chance to helm the latter version.
Mulan – Disney’s, not Sony’s – has now been slated for November 2, 2018.