Mulan director Niki Caro has debunked the rumors that the upcoming live-action Disney remake will feature an updated Mushu.
Mulan appears to be going in a different direction compared to the other recently released Disney live-action remakes. The major change is the Mulan remake will not be a musical like the 1998 animated film. Another notable change is that the live-action Mulan remake will not feature the dragon Mushu, voiced by Eddie Murphy in the original animated movie.
While Disney hasn’t been afraid to bring back voice actors for live-action remakes, Eddie Murphy will not have the chance to voice Mushu again due to his exclusion from the live-action Mulan. There have been rumors that Disney’s Mulan remake would feature an updated Mushu in the form of a phoenix to be more respectful of Chinese culture. However, director Niki Caro spoke to Digital Spy and shot down those rumors and explained why they decided to leave Mushu out of Disney’s Mulan remake.
“I think we can all appreciate that Mushu is irreplaceable. You know, the animated classic stands on its own in that regard. In this movie, there is a creature representative – a spiritual representation of the ancestors, and most particularly of Mulan’s relationship with her father. But an update of Mushu? No.”
While there is a dragon and a phoenix in the Mulan trailer, Niki Caro further explained what the actual meaning of the visual is in the film:
“So, on the left and right hand of the emperor is a dragon. The dragon is representative of the masculine, and the phoenix is representative of the feminine. In a movie, in a story that so much explores gender fluidity, I thought that that was a really nice and appropriate way to go.”
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Here is the official synopsis for Disney’s Mulan:
When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.
Disney’s Mulan will be released in theaters on March 27, 2020.
Source: Digital Spy