October 11, 2016


Report: Live-Action 'Mulan' Remake Won't Have a White Male Lead After All


On Monday, an anonymous guest writer took to the blog Angry Asian Man to share some dirt from Disney's live-action Mulan remake, the script of which he or she claimed to have read. The thrust of the ire? In the midst of ever-increasing critiques of whitewashing and white saviors in movies that should clearly center around people of color, Mulan was purportedly seeking a white love interest who would be front and center for at least half the film. He's described in the post as "a 30-something European trader who initially cares only for the pleasure of women and money." Till he sees Mulan, joins the fight against the Chinese Imperial Army and personally defeats its leader.

"As an Asian American person in the industry, I am furious after reading this script," the author wrote on Angry Asian Man. "I am writing this letter anonymously so all the fans anticipating this remake will know how problematic it is in its current form." He explained character in question is 

Now "a source close to the project" tells Vanity Fair that the script, a debut from both Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, was only a draft, and that it will be changed. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who together penned the reboots Jurassic World and Rise/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, were recently recruited for a rewrite. “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,” the tipster told the magazine. “Mulan is and will always be the lead character in the story, and all primary roles, including the love interest, are Chinese.”

In September, a petition went up entreating Disney not to whitewash the film; it's since gotten more than 106,000 signatures. Then, a week ago, Disney announced a global casting search for a Chinese actress to play Mulan. The remake of the 1998 original is due Nov. 2, 2018, although a director has not yet been named.