It’s been 18 years since everyone’s favourite Asian princess animation “Mulan” came out. Early last year, Disney announced that “Mulan” was getting a live action remake.
Although film production is still in its early stages, fans are super worried that the story which consist of mainly Chinese characters will be whitewashed, has become a common commodity in Hollywood. Perhaps due to a recent fake announcement that Jennifer Lawrence was being considered to play Mulan, an online petition created last year has gone viral.
Created by Natalie Molnar, the campaign “Tell Disney You Don’t Want A Whitewashed Mulan!” has over 92,000 signatures as of time of writing and urges netizens to “take a stand against whitewashing in our media”, nodding to Rooney Mara’s portrayal of Tiger Lily in “Pan”, several cast members in “The Last Airbender”, and the recent news of Scarlett Johansson being cast as The Major in “Ghost in the Shell“.
Based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Disney’s “Mulan” is a 1998 American animated musical action-comedy-drama film that centres on Fa Mulan, a young woman who disguises herself as a man to take her father’s place in the army during a war against the Huns.
Of course, Disney hasn’t casted anyone yet, or even revealed who’s being eyed for the titular role. However, several fan sites have taken it upon themselves to come up with an unsolicited list of Asian actresses that would be perfect for the role of Mulan.
- Jamie Chung has already played Mulan in “Once Upon a Time”
- “Scott Pilgrim” actress Ellen Wong
- Kristin Kreuk, whose father is Dutch and mother is Chinese
- Fan Bingbing
- Nikki SooHoo
- Celina Jade
- Janel Parrish
- Katie Leung (“Harry Potter”‘s very own Cho Chang)
If Disney were to whitewash “Mulan”, the backlash from Chinese moviegoers would be severe. We doubt Disney would be ignorant enough to cast a non-Asian actress as Mulan. The Chinese market can, after all, make-or-break studio films.
UPDATE (5th October, 12:30am):
The retelling of Disney’s live-action musical animated hit “Mulan” is finally taking off.
The studio has just announced that the movie will hit theatres on 2nd November 2018. Disney has also launched a global casting search for a Chinese actress to take on the iconic role of Mulan. This suggests that the fans’ pleas have been heard.
Who do you think would make a convincing and charismatic Mulan? Sound off in the comments below.