UPDATE: According to Vulture, sources close to the production are promising that this spec script was just a jumping off point. Mulan WILL be the primary character and all major roles, including any love interests, will be Chinese. Phew. Original article continues below.
There’s a rumor going around the internet this morning that’s so disgusting and disappointing that I almost don’t want to report it. According to an anonymous letter from a supposed Hollywood insider on AngryAsianMan, the spec script that Disney bought for their live action remake of Mulan features a white, male lead who spends the film pining for Mulan, defends her in battle and defeats the main villain himself.
I don’t need to explain why this is a terribly awful idea, right? We all get this by now?
Ok, well, just in case, let’s say it again – YOU DON’T NEED A WHITE DUDE IN THE LEAD TO SELL A MOVIE. I hate typing in caps in articles, but I don’t know how else to express my rage and frustration here. Diversity matters. Representation matters. And taking an ancient Chinese legend that Disney already made once and did a pretty good job of and turning it into yet another “White Guy Saves the Day” story is so freaking dumb that it shouldn’t have ever been considered by anyone, much less the company that made the original Mulan!
Other than Beauty and the Beast, the Disney film I hear most quoted and loved from my generation is Mulan. I’ve got friends of all races and creeds who love that movie. You know what they don’t need? A white guy to relate to in order to like the film. If this is true, it’s one of the most insanely bad decisions ever made because nobody will support it. Even racists will probably be like, “Why is this White Dude here?”
Now, there’s a chance that this is all a fake – although I trust AngryAsianMan to not be taken in by something like that. And there’s the fact that this is a spec script by different writers than the people working on the movie – so Disney may have bought the script to prevent it being made, rather than to make it. The movie they’re fast tracking for a 2018 release might be the most faithful adaptation of the legend mixed with the charm of the original Disney film.
Or, maybe people in power in Hollywood are still being god damned idiots. Expect this to flop at the box office if this is the movie we get, because, say it with me now: Nobody wants this. Nobody.