Disney is slated to begin filming the eagerly awaited live-action “Mulan” movie this month as key members of the cast and crew are being finalized. Currently, the company has been keeping mum about any important information, such as a firm release date or any further cast announcements aside from Liu Yi Fei as the titular lead, Mulan, but reports indicate that the film should be in theaters by December 2019.
Signed on to direct is New Zealand native Niki Caro, who is perhaps best known for her work on “Whale Rider“. Joining her as screenplay writers are Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa, Elizabeth Martin, and Amanda Silver. Jaffa and Silver, who are married to each other, have both previously worked on such movies as “Jurassic World” and “Avatar 3“.
The remake has been fraught with controversy since its inception; an initial script romantically paired Mulan with a White trader who happened to find his way to China, but that was quickly scrapped after drawing severe backlash. Outrage re-surged after fans were told that two beloved aspects of the film — songs and Captain Li Shang — would be omitted. Anxiety grew when it was learned that the movie would be pushed back from its original release date of November 2, 2018 to November or December of 2019.
All was quickly forgiven, however, when news spread of Disney’s pick for the lead role of Mulan — Liu Yi-Fei, a popular Chinese actress and full-on cat aficionado. The speaking voice of the 1998 animated release, Ming-Na Wen, approved of the decision, despite the fact that Chinese netizens had rated her among the worst actresses on their version of IMDB. Although they still haven’t signed on Mulan’s love interest, execs say everyone can rest-assured that he, along with the rest of the cast, will also be Chinese.
Meanwhile, Disney has been busy filming the live-action “Aladdin” movie, although that has not been without its own controversy. The company drew ire for signing on Naomi Scott as Jasmine, who is not of Middle-Eastern descent, although the majority were pleased with the announcement. However, they were slammed for practicing “brown-face”, or hiring White actors and darkening their skin to match the more ethnically-correct cast, the excuse being that they couldn’t find enough POC stuntmen and camel wranglers.
Here’s to hoping the path to the perfect “Mulan” remake is smooth sailing from here on out.
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