The live-action take on Disney’s Mulan is gathering pace, with new cast-members recently added, including Rogue One star Donnie Yen confirmed last week.
However, some detective work from fans has lead to a realisation that one of the key roles from the original movie may now have been axed.
Yen is set to play Commander Tung, a mentor and teacher to Mulan.
However, in the original 1998 movie, Mulan’s commander is Li Shang, who becomes fascinated with Mulan when she poses as a man in order to join the army, train to become a warrior and protect her people.
After showing genuine surprise when she turns out to be a girl, many have positioned – and praised – Li Shang as being a clearly bisexual character in the Disney universe.
But now that Yen is confirmed to play the army commander, a casting call for the film sent out last year has been unearthed, which details how another character will become Mulan’s love interest instead, a rival soldier called Chen Honghui, who initially ‘bullies’ her.
“Strapping, cocky and handsome, Honghui is another recruit who joins Commander Tung’s unit, and he’s determined to be the best solider in human history,” explains the casting call.
“Full of himself, with a mean, bullying streak to him, he quickly realises that Mulan is his chief rival, but does not realize that she is a woman.
“Honghui is increasingly peeved by Mulan’s ability to match or out-manoeuvre him. But after learning that his rival is a woman, his intense feelings of rivalry turn into something very different, something like love.”
From the casting announcements and the information from the casting call, it appears that Li Shang’s character is gone from the live-action movie, and thus Disney’s likely unintentional creation of a bisexual character with it.
Fans have taken to Twitter to voice their anger over the change.
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
disney when they realized they accidentally made li shang bisexual by having him fall in love with mulan while he thought she was a boy and that there's nothing they can say now to deny it or change that fact pic.twitter.com/FZWIYqDY8v
— gabi (@harleivy) April 12, 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
whether or not u think cutting Shang from live action Mulan is bisexual erasure (folks be debating), it's a bummer that instead of a likeable, respectable leader we're gonna get another typical cocky f'boy alpha straight boy captain type. like we haven't seen enough of those
— Mim (@mimzatweets) April 17, 2018
Are Disney really changing the plot of Mulan just so that they don’t have to cast the bisexual icon that is Captain Li Shang pic.twitter.com/DXiCxL7lfa
— Lotta (@rhaegars_) April 13, 2018
disney cutting out known bisexual legend li shang from the live action mulan film should be considered a hate crime
— lauren (@sansastcrk) April 16, 2018
Liu Yifei is to play the title role, with director Niki Caro, who helmed Whale Rider, behind the camera.
It’s due for release on March 27, 2020.