One of Disney's more successful formulas in recent years has been delivering audiences live-action adaptations of some of their most popular animated classics. Both 2016's The Jungle Book and 2017's Beauty and the Beast went on to become some of the highest-grossing films of the year, in addition to winning over a majority of critics. The studio will be offering audiences a live-action adaptation of Mulan, though one tweak to the film's narrative that has resulted in a major character potentially being cut has fans furious.
In the story, a young girl is fearful that her father will be drafted into the Chinese military, aiming to take his place instead. However, due to the nation's patriarchal rule, being a woman precludes her from enlisting, with the resourceful girl then pretending to be a man and proving herself to be a fierce warrior.
A recent casting announcement, which you can see in the tweet below, seeks to cast the character Chen Honghui, who is described in a similar manner to what fans know of the character Li Shang. Honghui is described as Mulan's rival in boot camp, with the realization that she is a woman resulting in his feelings becoming romantic. In the original film, Shang was also her rival, though there is a not-so-subtle subtext that the male Shang is romantically interested in the seemingly male Mulan, having no idea she's a woman.
saddened to report it’s basically been confirmed that li shang will not be in the live-action mulan.
the mulan casting call has been confirmed to be accurate. donnie yen was cast as “commander tung,” who is in the description for “chen honghui.”
rest in peace bisexual icon. pic.twitter.com/7El8TDhJg5— nerdy (@nerdyasians) April 16, 2018
Not only are fans upset that the familiar character has been removed, but Shang was one of the very few LGBTQ characters anywhere in the Disney roster. In addition to Disney also removing many of the film's original songs from the upcoming adaptation, to say fans are upset about this recent revelation would be an understatement.
The studio has yet to confirm that the character has officially been removed from the adaptation.
See what fans are saying about the Mulan adaptation before the film hits theaters in 2019!
i’m disgusted. disney is obviously still mad they accidentally made li shang bisexual, so they’re REMOVING ANY POSSIBILITY that “chen” is seen as bisexual. they make it clear he HATES mulan the whole time she’s presenting male. he bullies her up until he finds out she’s a woman. https://t.co/vsj5B9uDGp— princess mizzy ? (@hellomizzyy) April 16, 2018
since li shang THE bisexual king will not be in the mulan live action and instead they're introducing that new problematic character that bullies her up until he finds out she's a woman i don't care about it anymore and i hope it flops pic.twitter.com/HCuL3QivhV— estefany -9 (@brookIynmarvel) April 17, 2018
so in the live action mulan film, there's a witch, a sister, no music, and no li shang.... pic.twitter.com/w3PuYMc5pV— eleanor (@youresteve) April 16, 2018
everything wrong with the new mulan live action:
no li shang
no mushu or cricky
a witch is the villain
mulan has a sister?
everything was perfect in the first movie. why is there a need for these many changes?— kat (@katlibra) April 16, 2018
Mulan has a mysterious power. So we are gonna just take away the fact that she earned her spot in the army with ingenuity and hard-work.
Chen is a typical bully who suddenly isn’t a bully when Mulan, his victim, is revealed to be a woman.
Rename this movie. It’s not Mulan. pic.twitter.com/5eW4z2uLbp— ferdosa (@atomicwick) April 16, 2018
• no li shang in mulan live action
• no iconic songs in mulan live action
• no huns as villains in mulan live action
WHAT'S THE POINT OF THIS MULAN LIVE ACTION IF IT ISN'T ABOUT THE CARTOON??— lizzie regina (@lizziescrown) April 17, 2018
disney: hey guys the sidekick Le Fou in BaTB is gay!! we're progressive!!— A SAFE SPACE FOR BUFF DADS (@xfwipsx) April 16, 2018
disney: literally erases a main character from the series they're rebooting bcuz he was too closely associated w/ bisexuality, making him instead a 'rival' character that ONLY feels romance for GIRL mulan
disney might be removing shang from the mulan liveaction remake but he'll ALWAYS be a bisexual icon in the animated movie and theres not a damn thing they can do about it and guess what? animations are forever gonna be superior to live action movies anyway. we stay winning gays. pic.twitter.com/ypLxqoIEW0— gabi (@harleivy) April 17, 2018
disney: *basically remakes beauty and the beast shot for shot*
also disney: the mulan remake will be closer to the source material than the original film what do you mean "we are trying to avoid the bisexual subtext we accidentally created" we are taking RISKS— ? (@bilrac) April 16, 2018