None of this news is official, but according to a post on Angry Asian Man, the script Disney bought for The Legend of Mulan has decided that what was missing from that story was a white merchant for Mulan to fall in love with. And it’s generating a heated debate about the way Hollywood makes Asian stories.
Now, give this all the grain of salt you think a letter written anonymously deserves, but according to the writer (“an Asian American person in the industry” who read the script), here’s who the live-action Mulan has put at its center:
The man is a 30-something European trader who initially cares only for the pleasure of women and money. The only reason why he and his entourage decide to help the Chinese Imperial Army is because he sets eyes on Mulan. That’s right. Our white savior has come to the aid of Ancient China due to a classic case of Yellow Fever. In this script written by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, more than half of its pages are dedicated to this merchant who develops a mutual attraction with Mulan and fights to protect her in the ensuing battles. To top it all off, this man gets the honor of defeating the primary enemy of China, not Mulan. Way to steal a girl’s thunder.
The letter ends with the hashtag #MakeMulanRight, which is where people are airing their displeasure at the possibility:
Writer Marjorie M. Liu explained the source of the problem inherent in this move in a stellar Twitter thread:
It looks like we’re going to have to keep having this conversation until Hollywood understands that this isn’t okay.