Disney's Live Action 'Mulan' Release Date Is Far Away, But The Wait Will Be Worth It
Stop what you're doing, because this is not a drill: Disney's live-action Mulan has a release date. This is notably speedy, since Disney only announced their plans for a live-action Mulan a few weeks ago. Clearly, they're every bit as overexcited about this remake as we are. So when is it dropping? It's just two years away from now, with an estimated release date of November 2, 2018. Yes. That's kind of a long time away — but given how normally these things take a few years in the pipeline and the sheer scale of the battle scenes (can you imagine the notably vast battle scenes done with real people?), this is crazily quick.
Besides which, Disney also announced some very cool news. Following a bunch of smart Disney fans/activists creating an online petition "to tell Disney that we demand to see them cast an Asian Mulan," Disney is reportedly conducting a global search to find a Chinese actor to take the part. While you might have assumed that of course they would have always hired a Chinese actor for the role, sadly this isn't always the case in Hollywood. As we've seen in past films like The Last Airbender (2010) and upcoming films like Ghost In The Shell, studios have chosen to cast white actors to take Asian parts. Although the petition may have had no effect on what Disney was already planning to do, it's still wonderful to see that they have no intention of white-washing their vision.
In The Last Airbender, Katara and Sokka were played by white actors, and, problematically, the villains were people of color, played by actors of Indian and Maori descent. Similarly, there was uproar when Scarlett Johansson was cast in the upcoming remake of the Japanese anime Ghost In The Shell as Motoko Kusanagi. Part of the controversy centered on how Johansson was presented in a way that was identical to the original character in every way aside from race, which erases a pretty huge part of the original narrative.
So, thank goodness that, in 2016, studios as big as Disney is acknowledging we the audience are sick of whitewashing and we're hungry for authenticity. Casting that actually reflects the setting of a story should be a right, not a privilege, in the films that we watch.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures (2)