By Amanda Gabriel
Disney fans are naturally enchanted by, and excited for, the continued releases of their favorite childhood classics with new, modern twists.
One live-action Disney remake in particular, however, is sparking some controversy over a number of not-so-new issues. “Mulan,” one of the next remakes in the lineup, is scheduled to be released in March 2020 with potentially some major changes in the storyline.
Fans were shaken up by the news that the film’s writers decided to replace Mulan’s love interest from the animated film, Li Shang, with a new character named “Chen Honghui,” played by Yoson An.
Many question how Disney can even consider doing a remake of the 1998 film without Captain Li Shang, the man responsible for some of the movie’s most iconic scenes (and best musical numbers.)
Only fanning the flames, early stages of the script apparently called for a white male European trader as both Mulan’s love interest and as the new hero of China.
The original film was renowned for the main heroine’s unparalleled courage, intelligence, and dedication. She was the one who overcome the obstacles and became a national hero.
Instead, the 2020 film (or at least a version of it) unfortunately seemed to have been pushing for a classic “white savior” narrative at some point in its production. It’s understandable that fans would treat all subsequent details with wariness.
After much disapproval expressed by Disney fans and others alike, new reports have stated that Mulan’s love interest will in fact be Chinese, but not everyone is convinced or prefers the change due to the entirely new issues that have surfaced.
Many have taken to Twitter to voice their continued disappointment and confusion over the fact that Li Shang is no longer a character in the remake.
Suffice to say, numerous speculations and gossip still surround this in-the-works Disney remake, and the disputes are far from over.
Fans are demanding answers, and feel that their voices should be heard when it comes to movies that made such a large impact on their lives growing up.
This is especially true for Asian-American fans, as “Mulan” was a film that provided some much-needed Asian representation in Hollywood.
The debate has become a matter of what kinds of messages the film will be sending those who have had to fight to be represented in media.
It seems that Disney supporters will have to wait and see if fan feedback will change the course of the studio’s plans for the better.