Sorry Mulan fans, but these two major characters will not be making an appearance in Disney’s upcoming live-action film. Although the movie is still set to revolve around the fearless Mulan who disguises herself as a man in order to save her father from fighting in the Imperial Army, her love interest, Li Shang, and trusty dragon sidekick, Mushu, will not be featured in the action-packed flick.
USC professor Stanley Rosen, who specializes in Chinese politics and society, recently explained the real reason behind the dragon’s removal.
“Mushu was very popular in the U.S., but the Chinese hated it,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “This kind of miniature dragon trivialized their culture.”
Upon hearing this, fans understood why keeping Mushu out of the film was necessary, but they were still heartbroken over the disappearance of Li Shang. Why won’t the captain be in the live-action feature film? Well, Mulan producer Jason Reed told Collider that Disney felt his character wasn’t “appropriate” in today’s culture.
“I think particularly in the time of the #MeToo movement, having a commanding officer that is also the sexual love interest was very uncomfortable and we didn’t think it was appropriate,” he explained before revealing that Li Shang has actually been split into two new characters. “One became Commander Tung who serves as [Mulan’s] surrogate father and mentor in the course of the movie. The other is Honghui who is [Mulan’s] equal in the squad.”
Some diehard Mulan fan were quick to disagree with Disney’s statement. Many claimed that Li Shang actually helped the #MeToo movement, while others accused Disney of erasing “bisexual representation” in the film. As fans know, Le Shang originally fell in love with Ping before he realized that it was really Mulan dressed as a boy.
“NO. Li Shang HELPS the Me Too movement. He starts off sexist to show Mulan’s struggles, but then he changes and becomes the girl’s romantic partner,” one person wrote on Twitter, with another adding, “They needed to get rid of Disney’s Bi Prince. Li Shang started to fall in love with Ping before he knew Ping was really Mulan.”
A third person wrote, “Reminder they’re only doing this to remove the LGBT subtext from the original.”
For those who don’t know, the live-action Mulan remake is set to hit theaters on Friday, March 27. The sure-to-be amazing film will star Liu Yifei as the rebellious female warrior alongside Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li, Jet Li and more.
Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.