We're not the only ones hoping Disney treats its live-action version of Mulan with all of the respect and care that it deserves. Ming-Na Wen, who voiced the main character in the 1998 animated version, is holding out hope, too.
The Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star stopped by Entertainment Tonight to discuss the upcoming adaptation of the film concerning the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan and expressed the one thing she wants to see done with it — as well as the chances of her involvement.
"Wow! I wish I could say that it needs it," Wen said when asked if she had given her blessing to the project, expressing how well Disney has already done with the likes of Maleficent, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast.
As for the Wen's one request for the film: "That [the actress who plays Mulan is] Chinese in her heritage." She doesn't have anyone in mind specifically for the role, Wen just wants accurate representation, adding: "Even though we're Pan-Asian, it is specifically a Chinese folklore and I really think that someone with that ethnic background [would] really just add more to the story."
Hollywood has been grappling with the issue of whitewashing as of late and getting the live-action Mulan correct is super important. Hopefully, the movie execs realize it would be hard to cast anyone other than a woman of Chinese descent considering the character is the daughter of an aged Chinese warrior who fights in the Chinese army by dressing as a man and becomes a national hero for China. Get it? It's only right that the actress is Chinese!
When it comes to something else everyone is wondering — specifically if Wen will get a role in the film — the 53-year-old notes that, while she's not of the age to play the lead, there's still hope that her presence will be felt in it.
"I would love to have a part in it in some way," Wen said, teasing that "conversations" have been happening about that exact thing. "We'll see — knock on wood!"
Here's to hoping everything — including the cast, music, and feel — is perfect with the live-action Mulan, due out November 2, 2018.