Disney has scheduled a release date for its live action version of Mulan: The heroine will get down to business to defeat the Huns come November 2, 2018, and her saga will be shown in 3D. Now they just have to find someone to play the titular part, and per The Hollywood Reporter, the company is going to be conducting “a global casting search for a Chinese actress.”
Though hiring a Chinese performer to take on a Chinese character should be a given, the Hollywood tradition of whitewashing, or hiring a white actor to play a nonwhite character, makes this commitment cause for relief. One of the Mouse’s own properties, the Marvel film Doctor Strange, has faced criticism for featuring Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One. Even though today’s bit of news was a positive development, it inspired some to recall/shudder at Emma Stone’s past role in Aloha and Scarlett Johansson’s upcoming one in Ghost In The Shell.
Earlier this year, fans took preventative measures by signing a petition “to tell Disney that we demand to see them cast an Asian Mulan.”
Ming-Na Wen and Lea Salonga shared voicing duties in the 1998 animated musical, which will reportedly not be the only source material for this new version. The film—which is being rewritten from a spec script by Jurassic World’s Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver—will also draw from (much) earlier source material: The poem about the warrior from the fifth or sixth century CE. Meanwhile, Sony is also developing a Mulan movie, but perhaps Disney’s will render it irrelevant like Warner Bros.’ Jungle Book.