Animated classic Mulan is set to come to life in two new live-action productions, but some fans are keen to ensure it won’t go the way of Ghost in Shell.
A petition calling for the cast not to be whitewashed was launched earlier this year after Disney announced their intentions to bring the popular film back. It's since garnered close to 90,000 signatures after receiving renewed interest this week when Sony revealed they will also be making a live-action version of Mulan.
Although both production companies have yet to release any casting details, the petition’s creator Natalie Molnar believes that the practice of whitewashing – the casting of Caucasian actors to play characters of colour – is all too common to ignore.
“Mulan was based on a Chinese legend,” she write, “The character, story, and fans deserve the best retelling of the story Disney can produce, and although the film was only announced March 30th, this disturbing trend of whitewashing in big-budget movies can't get a chance to take root in Mulan as well.”
The producer of Sony's version, Doug Belgrad, may well have taken note, as he tells Deadline Hollywood, "the plan is to shoot predominantly or exclusively in China with a Chinese partner and a mostly Chinese cast.”
“It’s a Hollywood movie made for the world, but which we think will have immense appeal in China,” he explains.