When we heard that Mulan — like many other Disney classics — was getting a live-action remake, we were stoked. It's arguably one of the best Disney movies, and previous cartoon-to-IRL remakes have been pretty on the money so far.
And in times like these, the world could use a little Mulan. A not-so-gentle reminder that you can do literally anything you want, with a little help from an ancestral dragon guardian and your hot General/boyfriend, of course.
With actress Yifei Liu attached as the titular character, and Donnie Yen also folded in there somewhere, the original premise seemed promising.
But as we've been reading more and more reports about the movie's progress, our feelings have been changing. A lot.
How has Mulan (2020) worried us? Let us count the ways.
There will be no songs
In March 2017, the film's director Niki Caro literally crushed our sing-a-long hopes and dreams when she confirmed that the live-action film won't have any songs in it.
"Yes, from what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children," she told Moviefone.
OK. FIRST OF ALL. You made Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book musicals!!! You pretty much just ripped the original songs and threw them in there with some added auto-tune for Emma Watson! But you couldn't do the same for Mulan — the Disney movie that has the best songs out of all of them?!
No "Reflection"? No "Honor To Us All"? Not even "I'll Make a Man Out of You"?! Will we have to live in this godforsaken world without hearing Mulan and her rag-tag team of buddies lament about having "A Girl Worth Fighting For"?
Honestly, a travesty.
There will be no Shang
If we learnt one single thing from Mulan, it's that suave bisexual icon Li Shang is the ideal Disney boyfriend. He's ripped as fuck, can work a man bun, has sick skills with both sword (important) and bo staff (also important) and is willing to lay everything on the line for his girl.
But unfortunately, it seems sexy Shang won't be in the 2020 version.
According to casting calls, the script is replacing him with some guy named Chen Honghui, Mulan's "chief rival" who only falls in love with her after he learns she's a woman (also, can we please grow up? Fall in love with Mulan when she's pretending to be a dude like Shang did, you coward).
The character description reads: "He quickly realizes that Mulan is his chief rival, but he does not realize that she is a woman ... But after learning that his rival is a woman, his intense feelings of rivalry turn into something very different, something like love."
He's also described as "mean, with a bullying streak to him," and "strapping, cocky and handsome." Sounds like a dick.
Even though we're not sure how much Shang and Chen will cross over character-wise, we're still pretty damn disappointed we won't get to see our fave commander strip down and catch a fish with his bare, manly hands like we were put on this earth to do.
THAT'S STRIKE TWO.
The main villain will be a witch?
One of the coolest things about the original Mulan was that the villain, Hun leader Shan-Yu, was a regular human. Unlike a sea-witch, or sorcerer, or voodoo man, Shan-Yu was terrifying because he was totally real.
So, we weren't too happy to hear that he'll be replaced by a "powerful witch," played by Gong Li.
This takes out a lot of the historical story line and adds in some supernatural elements that definitely weren't in the legend or the Disney movie. We mean, sure, there was a talking dragon in the first one, but Mushu didn't have powers or anything.
It's not known how a witch will tie into Mulan's story but we'll be sad to see Shan-Yu, and his boss lines, go.
They’re giving Mulan a sister
In the original movie, Mulan was the only child of her family, which made sense for her character arc and her feelings of having to step up for her dad. But in the new version, Chinese-Vietnamese actress Xana Tang will be coming in to play her unnamed sister.
We're not sure where the writers are pulling this one from, seeing as Mulan didn't have a sister in the 1998 movie or in the original legend it's based off, Hua Mulan. What purpose will she serve? Why are they putting her in? No one can say.
The Emperor of China won’t be the one we remember
In the 1998 movie, the Emperor of China was super old, super wise and totally badass. ("No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it" MIC DROP. Can I get that as a back tatt, please?).
In the 2020 version, the Emperor will be played by Jet Li. This is both good (he's Jet Li) and kinda bad (Jet Li is not 98 with a sick beard).
Not sure what to expect on this one.
Since this movie isn't scheduled for released until 2020, it means there will be two more years of terrifying reports coming out.
What's next, Khan the horse is replaced by a unicorn? Mulan doesn't dramatically cut off her hair with a single sword stroke whilst singing in the down-pouring rain? We don't have a scene where a tiny red dragon and a cricket impersonate a general riding a panda?
SMH. This movie better pray it has a lucky cricket up its sleeve.