2020 was a wild ride to say the least, and at the start of last year, nobody could have predicted that Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan would have turned out to be one of the most controversial movies released. Admittedly, the seeds of discontent had been sown when calls were made to boycott the blockbuster after star Yiu Lifei publicly endorsed the Hong Kong police, but it ended up coming close to starting an international incident.
The studio had already gone out of their way to appease the Chinese censors, removing beloved dragon sidekick Mushu entirely so as not to offend local audiences and cutting something as innocuous as a kissing scene in order to please the strict censorship board, but thanking the Xinjiang province in the credits turned out to be a massive mistake in hindsight, with the region in the midst of facing allegations of human rights violations.
MORE FROM THE WEB
State media banned all coverage of Mulan to try and stifle the discontent and Mouse House CEO Bob Chapek was called out by a U.S. Senator, only for the martial arts epic to bomb at the Chinese box office anyway, and it topped out at a soft $70 million globally, although Disney Plus Premier Access sales are widely believed to have brought in a huge amount of revenue.
The ending of Mulan seemed to leave the door wide open for sequels as well, but given the backlash and poor commercial performance, it appeared unlikely to happen. However, insider Daniel Richtman now claims that a feature film follow-up and several spinoffs exclusively for streaming are in the works. Of course, this has yet to be corroborated by Disney themselves, and the family-friendly company will no doubt be keeping their cards close to the chest until the furor has blown over before planning their next move. But Richtman has a strong track record for inside intel and as of now, there’s no reason to doubt him.