Mulan fans mourn Li Shang's alleged removal from live-action Disney remake

A circulating casting call sees the fan favourite replaced with a new love interest

Clarisse Loughrey
Tuesday 17 April 2018 09:28 BST

Mulan fans have approached Disney's live-action remake with a (rightful) amount of suspicion.

There was a small furore over the revelation the original's songs would be cut - meaning no one would be making a man out of anyone - with concerns now being raised over a circulating casting call that sees the deletion of a beloved character.

Although, to be fair, we're still unsure as to the fate of Mushu, it also appears that Li Shang may have been erased from the remake: Mulan's commander and eventual love interest, who's particularly notable as many interpretations of the film code the character as bisexual.

Shang is shown clearly to possess a growing affection for Ping (Mulan disguised as a man in order to join the army), one not reserved for the rest of the soldiers, with the film definitely slotting in a few stolen glances between the pair. And his shock when she eventually reveals her true identity suggests he had no clue as to her disguise.

His character has now been reportedly replaced, according to the circulating casting call, with one Chen Honghui; a fellow recruit who becomes Ping's rival, but only falls for her once she reveals that she's a woman.

Which certainly seems to suggest that the film is not only ejecting a key character of the original, but also erasing a good chunk of its queer subtext. People are, unsurprisingly, not happy about this revelation.

Furthermore, Mulan will now be trained by Commander Tung, played by Ip Man and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Donnie Yen. Niki Caro – of Whale Rider and The Zookeeper's Wife fame - will direct, with Yifei Liu already cast as the titular hero.

Influential producer Bill Kong will act as executive producer, having previously worked on various hits, including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and Monster Hunt.

Mulan reaches cinemas in 2020.

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