Disney Promises No Whitewashing on 'Mulan' 2018 Remake
Disney announced on Tuesday that the new version of Mulan, which is set to hit theaters in fall 2018, would meet both the expectations of Chinese spectators and American audience.
The retelling of the traditional Chinese story of a young girl who took her father's place in war to save him is facing criticism on social media after a speculative screenplay was leaked on the Internet, the CNN reported.
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According to the website Angry Asian Man, instead of concentrating on Mulan's bravery to protect her family, the proposed remake will feature a white male European sailor who saved the young girl's life and eventually captured her heart. This could suggest that the "White Knight" will be taking the lead role, displacing the heroic Chinese character to a co-lead, Collider noted.
Out of protest, Mulan fans trended the hashtag #MakeMulanRight on Twitter to contend how the rumored script would "whitewash" Asian culture.
Furthermore, a website called 18MR also made an online petition urging Disney to change its possible script, CNN reported. Currently, at least 12,000 people have signed the said petition, demanding that an Asian American writer should be included in the script writing.
Meanwhile, a source close to the film told the Vulture in a statement that the spec script was just a "jumping-off point for a new take on the story that draws from both the literary ballad of Mulan and Disney's 1998 animate film."
"Mulan is and will always be the lead character in the story, and all of the primary roles, including the love interest, are Chinese."
Should this be true, then it could be expected Mulan's cast line-up will be made up of Chinese actors. However, the group behind the 18MR website said it is not enough to just hire an all Asian cast if none of the writers are Asian or Asian American.
On the other hand, Nancy Yuen, a professor from Biola University, is positive that the new version of Mulan will strike a balance to appeal the taste of U.S. audience and to ensure the Chinese audience the movie's cast is not whitewashed, Yibada reported.