Advent of Chinese actors in American cinema – The new Mulan movie

Almost a year to the day before the release of the live film “Mulan”. Let’s focus on the next big success of Disney with chinese actors!


About the movie

This live-action adaptation of the cartoon will be produced in China and New Zealand. The film remains in the majority look-a-like to the cartoon published in the 1990s. It was inspired by the poem « The Ballad of Mulan». The movie will narrate the legendary adventures of a girl secretly taking the place of his father in the army . It takes place during the war against the Huns faking to be a man.

Some original elements from the cartoon will unfortunately miss. For example, the little Muschu dragon or the famous songs like« Reflexion ». This has created polemics on social medias among fans, very attached to the  original music. The reason of this change is clear. The copyrights do not belong to Disney but to one of their former producers, Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is now working for the competing studio, Dreamworks.

Other Chinese success

After the success of Crazy Rich Asian with the Chinese audience but also with the Western audience,  Mulan may sign the beginning of a new trend for Asian actors. Indeed, although being an American production with Jason T. Reed (Ninja Turtles), Chris Bender (A History of Violence) and Jake Weiner (Criminal) on the production size, the film cast is 100% asian !

In addition to the lead role played by Liu Yifei (Once Upon a Time), we also find a large number of asian actors such as Donnie Yen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Jason Scott Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny), Yoson An (he Meg), Utkarsh Ambudkhar (The Hit Girls), Ron Yuan (Marco Polo). Tzi Ma (Arrival), Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny). Nelson Lee, Chum Ehelepola, Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha) and Jet Li (Leathal Weapon 4).

That was also the case for Crazy Rich Asian which was the first film from a Hollywood studio with an almost entirely Asian cast since 1993.



And in fact according to a California University study, 44 of the 100 films that made the best recipes in 2016 in the United States had no Asian characters.

But we can see that the “whitewashing” (Hollywood’s tendency to give all the roles to white people) does not pass as well today. There were a lot of polemics in recent years.

For example there were some protests against  the choice of Scarlett Johansson to embody the heroine of “Ghost in the Shell” (2017).  Same thing for Tilda Swinton playing the role of the Old in “Doctor Strange” (2016). Because they are white actrors playing the role of asian characters.

But a wind of change is happening in American studios and Hollywood seems more and more open to a greater diversity.

“It’s time for us to be represented in film and television. Look around us. We are a very diverse culture.Asians, African Americans, we belong to the DNA of this community  here in the United States.”
Michelle Yeoh, asian/American actrice



You can find here the teaser :



Make sure to read my previous articles 😉 :

Happy Valley – Shanghai amusement park for small budget!

3 replies on “Advent of Chinese actors in American cinema – The new Mulan movie”

Super !! I think I will try it next weekend with my friends !! Do you know if there is some group price ?

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