In a move sure to upset Disney fans everywhere, an insider working on the Mulan live-action remake has leaked that there are plans to replace beloved Mushu, Mulan’s firey dragon sidekick, with a phoenix instead.
This isn’t the first choice that Disney has made regarding Mulan that has fans questioning what the movie is going to be like, but it may be the last straw for some.
This tiny dragon, played by Eddie Murphy in the original 1998 movie, was a key component of the cast. Always searching for nasal congestion relief (The poor dragon sneezed fire, that had to be painful), he brought a comedic relief to the story which could have otherwise been too serious or heavy for a Disney flick.
If you’ve somehow never seen the movie, Mushu appoints himself as Mulan’s guardian early in the film. He sticks around through Mulan’s basic training and ultimately is an invaluable resource to her and her companions, even if he does complain, set things on fire, and is generally an annoyance to them.
His help is an attempt to rebuild his reputation within the family, as he was demoted years prior to being a guardian after making questionable choices. As the movie goes on, you begin to understand just what led him to make those choices.
The live action movie is reportedly in post-production, which isn’t surprising as it is slated to come out in 2020. The cast list has been out for a while and includes big names like Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and Jason Scott Lee. This movie has been highly anticipated for a long time.
However, it appears Disney has no interest in making a shot-for-shot remake or even staying that true to the original film.
Reports from the set include that Mushu isn’t the only thing changed. Apparently, the cast will not be performing any of the classic songs from the original animated film. While we may hear the tunes in instrumentals played in the background, none of the lyrics will be in the movie.
Classic songs from Mulan include “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” and “Reflection”. These songs have been covered hundreds of times and are considered some of the best Disney has to offer.
The story also appears to be very different. The love interest of Mulan from the original, Captain Li Shang, will not be making an appearance. Instead, she may find a romantic interest in a fellow recruit Chen Honghui, played by Yosan An.
Finally, no longer is a Hun army leader Shan Yu the bad guy. Instead, Mulan will be facing off against Bori Klan, played by Jason Scott Lee, who is out to avenge his father’s death.
Nothing is set in stone for the Disney remake, and it is expected to see screenings soon. Any adjustments that need to be made to appeal to the audience will be done before its release next year.
While Disney hasn’t said much about the official changes, we know enough to be sure this will be different from what we grew up with. The world is changing, and Mulan is apparently changing with it.