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Whitewashing does happen though. It happened just this past year in fact with Exodus and there have been other instances in recent movies. This isn't something that went away.
True, but in this case, it would be completely implausible to do that. I mean, in the case of Exodus, you could almost maybe weasel your way out of it, but here? No one is going to buy it for a second.
And why are we getting upset over a potential issue that doesn't actually exist yet?
Its one thing having White people pass as ancient Egyptians (Arguable thanks to Cecil B. De Mille, all you need is a few bottles of bronzer and a tanning bad). Passing for Asian? That's whole other can of worms.
In terms of director, I said it once and I'll say it again, someone with experience in Wu Xia movies could give the film a great aesthetic. China's already made at least a couple of their own Mulan movies anyway.
edited 30th Mar '15 8:32:20 PM by Sisi
They don't even pass as Egyptian though. It's the same shit that Bible miniseries pulled. They just don't care about being accurate because heaven forbid we scare away the white people by not having any white actors.
Okay let me explain why I find it incredibly unlikely they won't do something stupid. Can you name a single American made movie in the last 10 years that did not have at least one white person in it? I can't and I see no reason for that to change.
edited 30th Mar '15 8:36:41 PM by Kostya
In summary, I'm not saying the practice doesn't exist, just that in this case, there's absolutely no way anyone will let them get away with it. It's bad enough when a movie about Egypt does it, but for a movie set in China? You may as well kiss the lucrative Chinese audience goodbye.
Well if they did it here, then yes that would be dumb and contrived, and I'm not arguing otherwise. But considering that many American-made movies are set in America, yeah there'll probably be a few white guys there. We have to redress the balance and have more minorities in Hollywood roles, but the White Guy character isn't going away for a while.
edited 30th Mar '15 8:50:08 PM by edvedd
Agreed. The Huns though...not sure what they'll do with them. Actually weirdly enough the 2009 Chinese Mulan movie did some white-washing by giving a Russian singer/actor a role (he also provided the movies theme tune).
Speaking of whitewashing Jesus (or not), Nat Geo just a miniseries called Killing Jesus, and their Jesus was played by a Lebanese actor.
They also had Kelsey Grammer as Herod soooo....
edited 30th Mar '15 8:48:47 PM by Sisi
Look, just because people can't pull 1940s-type whitewashing doesn't mean it doesn't happen. The Last Airbender is a prime example of modern-day stupidity, they were planning MORE stupidity with Akira and Ghost In The Shell, and that means Asians and Asian-Americans are still Acceptable Targets in practice, if not in name.
Pretty much . Just because people would give them crap for it doesn't mean they wouldn't do it.
But can we at least wait until casting comes out instead of getting on Disney's case for something we don't even know they've done yet?
As an Asian, I will be perfectly happy to bitch if your scenario comes true, but not before I know anything concrete.
You seriously think someone is dumb enough to take a movie based on Chinese epic poem, set in China, about Chinese people and just cast white people in there? I mean maybe as token Caucasians a la Marco Polo, but no, I feel safe in asserting that Mulan, her family, the army, and probably the Huns, will be some kind of Asians.
Airbender was slightly different because it was a fantasy world with fantasy ethnicities inspired by real ones. Mulan is Chinese history and literature.
Sharysa: The Last Airbender is a prime example of what I'm talking about.
Also that Noah movie a year or two ago also pulled this shit. Seriously if they resist the urge to have a single white person I will be impressed. It will probably be the first time that's happened in years.
Yes. Maybe not Mulan or Shang but I can definitely see one of the soldiers being white. They probably won't draw attention to it but I expect it to happen.
Airbender is clearly an Asian and Native American inspired setting. It might not be the real world but the racelifts were just as incongruous there and they already pull this kind of stuff all the time when adapting Biblical stories.
edited 30th Mar '15 8:56:27 PM by Kostya
Hollywood aversion to minority stars pops up in the most surprising of places (which is to say it's everywhere, even if places you wouldn't expect).
If they were going to whitewash this movie, it would probably be Hollywood's favorite method these days of casting everyone as (in this case) Chinese, except the protagonist who will be conspicuously white. More likely, though, should they cave like that Mulan is probably going to be a Chinese or half-Chinese actress who has largely Caucasian features. It's a damn shame Ming Na-Wen is too old for the role now...
That said, I say we show some faith on this one. Though that's definitely a possibility, if anyone would have the clout to avert Hollywood conventions on racial casting for the better without batting an eye it would be Disney (now, whether they have the will...).
edited 30th Mar '15 9:02:29 PM by KnownUnknown
Again though, where would they fit the white people? Mulan is so...Chinese, its going to be hard not having an entirely Asian cast. It's set in medieval(?)China. It's going be awkward seeing a token white person running around in country Europe probably hasn't explored yet.
At least with Eddie Murphy he wasn't playing a person and we never saw his face.
I'm not even saying they have to be white in the movie. Noah and Exodus just expected us to accept that these random white people were actually supposed to be Egyptian and Middle Eastern. This movie could just have white soldiers or something and expect us to accept that they're meant to be Chinese.
47 Ronin managed to do it.
@Known: I do appreciate that they cast Nonso Anozie in a major role for Cinderella. It was pretty meaty and he wasn't the butt of jokes either. There were actually way more minority roles than I was expecting, considering they could conceivably get away with not doing that.
Well, the protagonist was supposed to be biracial as a plot point, but then they cast Keanu Reeves. I mean yeah, he's partly Chinese, but come on.
edited 30th Mar '15 9:18:03 PM by edvedd
That is the thing. Hollywood forced a plot point into the movie specifically so they could include a non Japanese actor as the star. It is hard to trust they won't do the same again. Maybe Mulan will be part central Asian herenote coveniently,ancient China actually was that big which would be a excuse to make her white looking. After all, many central Asians do look "white-ish".
edited 30th Mar '15 9:24:12 PM by Heatth
Well...this is probably a bad idea.
I honestly don't see how anyone would think that whitewashing this would be a good idea, but I suppose I'm just not being imaginative enough.
They did the same thing with the King Of Fighters movie. They made the Japanese hero from the games half-American and then cast a full blooded white actor to play him, and then tried to justify it by throwing in some token references to him having been bullied as a kid for being mixed.
Hollywood really has a problem when it comes to Asian leads.
Fair enough. I didn't say it was a good plot point.
Another Disney thing: I also like that Big hero 6 cast its actors according to the ethnicities of their characters. With voice acting, you can get away with casting white people for most roles because it's just a voice, but they actually went the extra mile, and it's much appreciated.
As for this, we'll see. I really can't get mad about this with so little information.
To be honest, I'm a bit more concerned on how will they handle the gender issues than about any whitewashing. The animated version handled that with grace, but in part due to how, being a children's oriented offer, it never went too deeply into the more socially awkward aspects of Mulan's predicaments and their implications. In a presumably longer and older-audience oriented offering, the issue of the Captain interacting with her man disguise for most of the film while a relationship builds up between them would have to be more important, and that's the kind of thing Hollywood still gets cold feet and messes up more often than not.
edited 30th Mar '15 9:39:38 PM by NapoleonDeCheese
Ah do you mean the potential subject matter of the captain falling for someone he thinks is a man?
Did Shang really fall in love with Ping though? He started respecting him and maybe even viewed him as a friend but I never got the impression it was a romantic relationship.
I can't remember. I need to see it again.
It's a running joke, but I don't think it was ever actually a thing.
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