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White love interest in live-action 'Mulan'? Not necessarily.

First an anonymous writer said they'd read a spec script that featured a white love interest who 'defeat[ed] the primary enemy of China, not Mulan.' But now another anonymous source 'close to the production' says that won't be the case in the film. 

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The original animated version of 'Mulan' by Disney was released in 1998.

Walt Disney Pictures/AP

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Fans who are hoping for a Chinese cast in the upcoming Disney live-action version of the studio’s 1998 movie “Mulan” may have been on a bit of a roller coaster recently. 

Last week, Disney announced a life-action adaptation of the story of a young Chinese woman who joins the army in her father’s place.

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A few days later, an anonymous writer who wrote that they are “an Asian American person in the industry” wrote a column for the site Angry Asian Man, saying they had read a spec script for the live-action “Mulan” that they said Disney had purchased. The writer said the script included a “European trader” who “decide[s] to help the Chinese Imperial Army … because he sets eyes on Mulan” and that “this man gets the honor of defeating the primary enemy of China, not Mulan.”

However, as reported by Vulture and noted in the original column, Disney has brought on new script writers, Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa of “In the Heart of the Sea” and “Jurassic World,” and Vulture quotes a source who is “close to the film” as saying that “the spec script was a jumping-off point for a new take on the story that draws from both the literary ballad of Mulan and Disney’s 1998 animated film. Mulan is and will always be the lead character in the story, and all primary roles, including the love interest, are Chinese.” 

The controversy came after many fans were happy about Disney reportedly “launching a global casting search for a Chinese actress to play the legendary female heroine,” according to the Hollywood Reporter

If the anonymous source that spoke with Vulture is correct, fans will still hopefully be pleased by the casting decisions made by Disney as the “Mulan” live-action film moves forward. The movie is scheduled to be released in 2018.


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