Because Hollywood has a not-so-great track record with Asian representation, and Mulan is such a treasured exception to the rule, fans of the film have urged Disney not to cast a white male lead in its upcoming live-action remake. This comes after an essay from someone who claims to have had access to the Mulan spec script initially purchased by Disney said that the first draft features a "30-something European trader" who helps defend China after falling for Mulan. Since buying that script, Disney has hired new writers, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Jurrasic World), to work on Mulan, and a source close to the film tells Vulture that, just as fans hoped, the film will indeed feature an Asian love interest. "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 source says. "Mulan is and will always be the lead character in the story, and all primary roles, including the love interest, are Chinese." The studio has also promised a "global casting search" to find a Chinese actress to play Mulan herself.
WHY THE HECK ARE THEY TAKING SHANG OUT FROM MULAN HAVE YOU SEEN HIM pic.twitter.com/uZnyuSdT97— ☆BOO-ri (@HONEYBUTTAH) October 10, 2016
Honestly in the version in my head MULAN is her OWN "male lead." What's the Chinese translation for "Bechdel Test" again? https://t.co/ckDj7o9Tke— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) October 10, 2016
Mulan didn't need a single white character to make $300 million at the box office in 1998. The live action version doesn't need any either.— Fangirl Jeanne (@fangirlJeanne) October 10, 2016
This post has been updated throughout.