Disney just cast hunky 'Mulan' love-interest for the live-action remake and people are seriously hot under the collar
As a kid, Mulan was always one of my favourite films. No, wait - scratch that - it's still one of my favourite films. Yes, I may be a woman in my twenties with access to literally thousands of movies at any given time, but nothing - I repeat, nothing - will ever live up to the passion and energy of "I'll Make a Man out of You".
So, when I heard that they were remaking it, my instant reaction was to recoil in horror. After all, remakes or sequels are very rarely as good as (and almost never better than) the original.
Plus, how on earth do they expect to be able to replicate the perfection that is Captain Li Shang in real life?
Well, for starters, Li Shang won't actually be in the film. Instead, Disney has decided to create a new role - probably because Li's buff figure simply isn't possible to pull off in the live action world. Originally, this was rumoured to be a "30-something European trader" (at least that's what a leaked copy of the script led people to believe). Now, however, it appears that the filmmakers have decided to stick to the demographic of the 1998 version of the hit, and have cast Chinese-born Yoson An as the new main love interest.
And here he is:
This will be the actor's first major role in a feature-length film, but producers are confident that Yoson will portray Chen Honghui - the new main hunk - better than anyone else.
And you've got to admit, he does have that Li sort of charisma about him.
Not all fans are happy about the remake, however, with Insta user @asnpwr writing:
"Live-action Mulan will have no musical numbers, no Li Shang, a witch as the villain, a sister(?), and Mulan will now have this 'mysterious power' that could be the only explanation for her strong capabilities ...
"Not only have Asian characters been overtly and offensively white-washed, it has now come (and has been) to the point of completely removing characters and altering storylines. Li Shang was also well known to be a bisexual icon within the Disney realm. However, from the unfortunate news, it seems fans and future viewers will not be able to see it on the big screen within its release."
What's more, the decision to cast Yoson only came about after Disney received significant backlash for whitewashing their live-action remakes.
"I am deeply disturbed that a remake of the beloved Disney classic rejects the cultural consciousness of its predecessor by featuring a white male lead, once again perpetuating the myth that cultural stories are not worth telling without a western lens or star," wrote one blogger after the original announcement was made that the male protagonist would be a 30-something white man.
At this point, it does seem that Disney are making a live-action movie that is loosely based on the original Mulan, rather than the kind of beat-for-beat remake it had with Beauty and the Beast. Perhaps it'll turn out alright, and fans of the 90s classic will warm to a slightly different storyline - but that remains to be seen.
In the meantime, however, one thing's for sure: Yoson's role will certainly sell a few more tickets.