Longtime fans of the animated Disney movie “Mulan” aren’t too pleased with how the beloved film is being adapted.
The upcoming live-action version of “Mulan,” slated for a March 27, 2020 release, will reportedly not feature the iconic character of Li Shang, the Chinese army captain who was the heroine’s love interest in the 1998 film.
Mulan’s romantic interest will instead be a character named Chen Honghui who didn’t appear in the prior film, according to the live-action film’s casting call.
While the casting call for characters went out over a year ago, Twitter account @nerdyasians recently shared it, drawing attention to the differences between the two movies.
Fans are not pleased ― particularly because Shang had been hailed as a meaningful bisexual character. Many viewers have theorized that Shang is actually an LGBTQ character due to his strong bond with Mulan’s male alter ego, “Ping,” which became an official romance after Mulan was revealed as a woman toward the end of the film. His presence in the upcoming movie would speak volumes, many fans say.
Disney did not immediately reply to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Chen, Mulan’s new love interest, will allegedly be an army recruit who is bent on being the “best soldier in human history,” the casting call notes. Mulan, disguised as a man, eventually becomes Chen’s biggest rival, increasingly irritating him. Only after he learns she is a woman do “his intense feelings of rivalry turn into something very different, something like love,” the call notes. For many on social media, this character description of Chen eliminates the possibility that he could be bisexual.
The “Mulan” remake has garnered quite a bit of controversy. Though the movie countered white-washing rumors by casting Chinese actress Liu Yifei as Mulan, Chinese viewers criticized the choice, saying that Liu’s acting skills aren’t strong.
There were additional complaints on social media that the live-action “Mulan” wouldn’t include any music. Director Nikki Caro later told The Hollywood Reporter the filmmakers are “still exploring the role that music’s going to play in it, but for sure there will be music.”
People were also unhappy with the news that the film’s release, originally set for 2018, would be pushed back two years.
But with kickass stars Gong Li, who will play a witch, and Jet Li as emperor of China, along with Donnie Yen as Mulan’s mentor Commander Tung, not all hope is lost.