After months of rescheduling due to the coronavirus, Disney has decided to ditch the conventional theater premieres and screen their live-action remake of “Mulan” on their streaming platform Disney+. However, the film will still make it to select theaters where it’s possible.
“In order to meet the needs of consumers during this unpredictable period, we thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring the exceptional family-friendly film to them in a timely manner,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in an earnings call. “Simultaneously, we will be releasing the film theatrically in certain markets where currently we have no announced plan for Disney+ and where theaters are open.”
The remake of the 1998 classic will be available on Sept. 4 for Disney+ subscribers at the additional price of 29.99 U.S. dollars (1,470.26 pesos). While it hasn’t been reported if Disney plans on releasing more films on their streaming site, Chapek said that the additional cost to view the “fairly expensive” movie would allow them to check their audience’s willingness to spend for a new title. With landscapes shot from China and New Zealand, the film reportedly cost 300 million U.S. dollars to make.
While the trailer does look promising and you could tell that they put a lot of work into its production, I’m still not in full support of the film because of its lead actor’s political beliefs.
Back in August 2019, several Hong Kong residents called for a worldwide boycott of the film after Chinese-American actor Liu Yifei (who plays Mulan herself) expressed her support of the Hong Kong police through a post on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
Liu posted an image from the China Communist Party’s official newspaper People’s Daily with the caption, “I support Hong Kong’s police, you can beat me up now. What a shame for Hong Kong.” She also added, “I also support the Hong Kong police” with a heart emoji.
This was a reference to a quote from a reporter for an affiliate of the same newspaper who was suspected of being an undercover agent and mobbed by pro-democracy protesters at the Hong Kong airport. The same words were used by supporters of the Chinese government to portray the protestors as violent radicals.
Shortly after Liu posted the image, several people from all over the world stood in solidarity with #BoycottMulan, calling the actor out for supporting police brutality and being against democracy. As of writing, Liu hasn’t issued another statement on the matter.
Since Disney+ isn’t available in the Philippines yet and local cinemas are most likely not re-opening any time soon, it may take a little bit longer for us to catch the film on our screens. However, you can still count me out from looking forward to the film’s release. The situation in Hong Kong hits closer to home than you think and with the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Law, the resemblance is uncanny.
Somehow watching an actor against the youth fighting for democracy play a young outspoken warrior fighting for her country’s freedom just doesn’t sit right with me.