The Fairy Princess has learned, as have many others (Angry Asian Man, Racebending,) – that a super secret first draft of Disney’s promised live action version of MULAN has surfaced, and…it had a white guy saving the day.
Yes, apparently those screenwriters were a bit too in love with the show, MARCO POLO – (which should of course be called, KHAN),
and they decided that a Roman soldier somehow found his way to China, (Obviously he got a ride from Matt Damon and slept on Tilda Swinton’s floor as he made his way through Tibet) fell in love with an under-aged Chinese girl, (because that old trope is not as gross as we all think it is) and they he is able to train her so that she can go and save China.
A white guy ‘training’ a Chinese teenager.
Anyone with the ‘ick’ factor on high alert?
Anyway, those screenwriters have already been taken off the project, and it has been handed to others who deal in dinosaurs – and Disney has avowed that they are not going to give Mulan a Caucasian love interest, but here is the question TFP wants to pose – are they going to go so far off the template for this live action that the songs and the basic story line – which is compelling on it’s own – is not even a part of the landscape of this film?
Well then, what is the point?
Also, what about using Asian American talent in front of the camera, much as you did with the majority of the voices of the film? In point of fact – Disney used a great deal of Asian American voice talent on the second MULAN film as well, so it is not like Disney does not know they are out there. They have been pioneers in the past, so TFP thinks it HIGHLY unlikely that they would not continue in this manner, but well…Hollywood.
Not to mention the fact that, well…we have had quite a few more APIs on Broadway since that first film,
so there is rampant talent available.
In fact, Disney has recent TONY Nominee, Philippa Soo, singing in their new MOANA film.
Also Dwayne “The Rock’ Johnson, who has Samoan heritage has a lead role which requires singing.
NOT TO MENTION THAT the Original Voice Actors and singers of MULAN all look crazy hot and talented like they have been all along...
This whole argument that Asian people have to be ‘schooled’ by a white protagonist as to how to save their own country – a country which, by the way, managed to build that Great Wall so well it is able to be seen from SPACE – is annoying.
Why do they all of a sudden need help? They were making amazing art, poetry, and paintings while most of Europe were wearing homespun and living as serfs.
If the other musical projects that have been adapted for live action all incorporated the songs in a great cinematic way – why cannot this new live action MULAN be sung and acted by American performers who both appreciate the greatness of Alan Menken’s songs, and who grew up in love with this film and the voice actors in the first place?
Make the cast international if you wish, ok fine – but keep this Asian story with Asian talent. Because…we do not want to see this kind of thing happening with this story…
Scarlett Johannsen, Emma Stone, Matt Damon, Tom Cruise, Tilda Swinton....the list actually goes on and on back to the beginning of America cinema.
It has to stop.
Please make it stop.
No matter WHO eventually writes whatever draft gets the nod to go ahead – please remember that not only do Asian Americans have an innate attachment to this film, the Disney audience in general has an attachment to this film – and TFP is fairly certain that loving an animated film that is without a white protagonist saving the day means they will love a live action version with the same kind of focus.
TFP knows that this first draft is not going forward and likely there are going to be many revisions with this new team, but she is just so agonizingly tired of having to reiterate that representations of Asian peoples and their history – even history that has been ‘liberated’ (ahem), from it’s land of origin, are staggeringly important.
TFP wants her kid to be able to see Asian people in American films where they are celebrated and loved, as much as she personally celebrates and loves her kid.
Isn’t this “all for the kids’ anyway? What is the end goal here? Isn’t it fostering integration and expanding minds and finding narratives of various cultures worthy of examination and study? Isn’t it?
A lot of people are finding that audiences have no issues with learning about the variety of heritages within the United States, in fact, they enjoy it.
Otherwise, it’s going to be a total sh*t show – why not call Justin Lin or Ang Lee or someone who does not have to start from the ground up, and see what they can do with it?
Or someone who directs musical films? Bill Condon? He is doing a bang up job on Beauty and the Beast – can’t we book him ahead of time to give us a glorious live action piece?
Can’t the stupidity go away? Isn’t it time yet? If not – when WILL it be time?
TFP is looking at noon next Friday, to be honest, oh powers that be.