Yesterday, we were up in arms over rumors that Disney’s live-action Mulan adaptation was going to do away with the iconic Captain Li Shang and replacing him with a white European trader who finds himself in the middle of the Chinese army’s business, a la Marco Polo. Today, after most people on the internet got rightfully upset about it, sources close to Disney say that that’s not really the case.
It turns out that they bought the spec script for the take it has on the Mulan story, which is something in the middle of the original legend and the 1998 musical—pretty much what they did with this year’s live-action Jungle Book. Disney promises everyone that the cast will be Chinese af, and they’re going to do a worldwide search for the next Mulan. Meanwhile, a lot of people are pulling for Yoshi Sudarso, pictured above, to be the live-action Shang.
It’s not that we actually believed Disney would go through with letting a white lead topbill Mulan, but I’d say that this is 2016, and despite being 2016, lots of wrong things can still happen. You’ve got Miss Earth Philippines digging the president’s “Hitler stuff,” a sitcom about Filipina mail-order brides almost making it to TV, and Donald Trump, period. You’ll forgive us for being extra vigilant about these things messing up the world further.
Photo by Mike Saffels