Vulture reported that due to the intense social media backlash against speculations arising that Disney would cast a white lead as Mulan’s love interest in the recently revealed, Mulan live action remake, that Disney is now promising fans that they will cast an Asian male lead.
Mulan is a staple of Disney’s princess brand and one of the few representations of women in color in their fairy tale line up. It was important to fans that Lee Shang, Mulan’s love interest in the movie, be portrayed by a person of Asian descent.
The rumors that a white man would take Shang’s place was released in an essay by someone who supposedly had access to a draft of the spec script, not yet bought by Disney. The essay which can be found at the Angry Asian Man blog reads, “A white merchant’s business brings him to the heart of a legendary Asian conflict.” This man would be in his thirties and a European trader who helps Mulan’s battle against the Hun invasion. After Disney claimed the script they hired the writers from Jurrasic World, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver to work on it so it more closely resembles their animated movie from 1998.
Fans wrote to Disney through Twitter begging them to cast an all Asian cast and Disney responded by saying that they intend to make Mulan’s love interest Asian as well as find a Chinese Mulan.