Just as soon as news broke that Disney is planning a live-action remake of Mulan, Teen Wolf fans started clamoring for Arden Cho to play the titular character.
As teenwolfnews.com reports - the actor says it would be her dream role, “I just hope I'm in the mix!” she exclaimed via Instagram. “Would be fun to audition, singing + swords = dream come true! Probably the only Disney princess I could ever play, just sayin’.”
That last bit references her race. Cho has often lamented the lack of quality roles available to actors of Asian descent. Hollywood is getting better about casting and creating good roles for minority actors on TV and in film but it may well be this renewed cinematic sensitivity to race that keeps Cho out of her dream job.
There is no doubt that Cho is perfect for the part. She’s the right age, sings like an angel, and has weapons training from [Teen Wolf](series:721002). If she can ride a horse too then Disney would be stupid to overlook her.
The only thing about Cho that might give executives at Disney pause is the criticism they would get for casting a Korean-American actor to play a Chinese character.
You may or may not remember the hubbub over Teen Wolf’s casting of Felisha Terrell as a character many thought would be East Indian (Kali). The abuse heaped on Executive Producer Jeff Davis was so severe that he deleted his twitter account. The argument from fans then - and you can see how it could flare up again in the case of Mulan - was that “actors of color are not interchangeable.”
Adding to the pressure to cast racially accurate actors in Mulan is the fact that China is one of the largest markets for American films outside the US. A big name Chinese actor might simply make more financial sense for Disney.
The Mulan live-action film is still in the initial stages. Disney has a script and producers in place but there is no established timeline for casting.