The Nerdy Asians Twitter account released a copy of a casting call that essentially confirms that Li Shang has been cut from the live-action remake of Disney’s 1998 animated classic Mulan. The casting call says that the film’s two leads are “Mulan” and her romantic interest “Chen Honghui” and Chen Honghui’s character COULD NOT be more different from Li Shang.

So let’s break this down and see how different this new character will be from Shang. Chen Hongui is described as:

“…strapping, cocky, and handsome”.

Hmm. Shang was strapping and definitely handsome but he was never cocky. In fact, part of what made Shang such a suitable partner for Mulan was that he proved himself to be above the bravado and machismo the other soldiers exhibited, he was a self-assured leader that was confident in his finely-honed skills and strengths. Let’s move on…

“…Honghui is another recruit…”

Another recruit? Mulan earns the respect of her peers because she’s able to be become just as good of a soldier, and sometimes even better, than her authority figures. I suppose that can still happen if she’s able to meet the challenges set down by her commanding officer, Commander Tung, who will be played by Donnie Yen. Okay, this isn’t so bad.

“Full of himself, with a mean, bullying streak to him…”

Oh dear.

“Grittily determined to be the best at everything he does, Honghui is increasingly peeved at Mulan’s ability to match or out-maneuver him.”

Oh no.

“But after learning that his rival is a woman, his intense feelings of rival turn into something very different, something like love.”

SIGH. I’m gonna have to refrain from voicing my most honest thoughts because this is a family-friendly site.

However, this character flies in the face of everything Li Shang stood for. Shang was a great ally to Mulan, someone who pushed her, trained her, who came to respect her as a soldier and then trust her as friend. There was no jealousy, rivalry or any other competitive nonsense. While the seeds of romance are sowed in their friendship, saving China, her friends and her family took precedence over that romance.

Mulan is slated to premiere in March 2020. Let’s hope that between now and then, Chen Honghui is either fixed or dumped altogether and replaced with Li Shang.

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