Disney caused quite the internet shit storm yesterday when the blog Angry Asian Man revealed the spec script for Disney’s live action Mulan threw out cartoon heart throb Li Shang to bring in a “30-something European trader” as Mulan’s love interest. Rightful outrage ensued.
This makes no sense from a story or even financial standpoint, given the fact that the movie is being made because the cartoon version WITH ALL CHINESE CHARACTERS was dope and made a fuck ton of cash for Disney. I mean:
Mulan didn’t need a single white character to make $300 million at the box office in 1998. The live action version doesn’t need any either.
— Fangirl Jeanne (@fangirlJeanne) October 10, 2016
The blog’s anonymous source also claimed that Disney was looking to cast an established actress from China, rather than actually giving an unknown Chinese-American actress a chance, thus perpetuating the whole ‘well we can’t cast Chinese-American actresses because there are none!!!’ cycle.
Fortunately, the former issue has been addresses, as a source close to the film has confirmed to Vulture the love interest will be Chinese, stating:
The spec script 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. Mulan is and will always be the lead character in the story, and all primary roles, including the love interest, are Chinese.
Still, dishonor on the draft’s writers Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin’s cows for sticking a white dude in there in the first place. Why must female screenwriters who I desperately would like to support hurt me like this? Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver have taken over rewrites for the script.
Personally, I would like Disney to go one step further and have an all-Chinese, as the story takes place in China and, you know, not all Asians are interchangeable, but I’m not getting my hopes up.