Disney's upcoming live-action remake of 1998 animated flick "Mulan" has been embroiled in controversy since it was first announced. Now, fans are up in arms once again, this time over reports that a beloved character from the original film won't appear in the new version.

Though nothing has been confirmed by Disney itself yet, the film's official casting call -- which went out over a year ago, but has recently been circulating online -- does not include Li Shang, Mulan's military commander and eventual love interest. This time around, that latter role will be filled by a new character named Chen Honghui.

Here's the character breakdown, according to the casting call:

In his 20s, must be able to speak fluent English and Mandarin Chinese; strapping, cocky and handsome, Honghui is another recruit who joins Commander Tung's unit, and he's determined to be the best soldier in human history. Full of himself, with a mean, bullying stream to him, he quickly realizes that Mulan is his chief rival, but he does not realize that she is a woman. Grittily determined to be simply the best at everything, Honghui is increasingly peeved by Mulan's ability to match or out-maneuver him. But after learning that his rival is a woman, his intense feelings of rivalry turn into something very different, something like love.

While the film is certainly trying to differentiate itself from its predecessor in many ways (most notably by including lots of new characters and downplaying the use of music), Shang's exclusion is an especially tough change for some fans to swallow, since he's considered by some to be a bisexual icon. (His character has a pretty charged relationship with Mulan's male alter ego, Ping, which blossomed into romance once the heroine's true identity was revealed.)

The Huffington Post has reached out to Disney for comment on the matter, but has yet to receive a response. We'll update this post if and when they do.

"Mulan" is due in theaters on March 27, 2020.

[via: HuffPost Entertainment]

Mulan Movie Poster
Mulan
G1998
Based on 24 critics

Fearful that her ailing father will be drafted into the Chinese military, Mulan (Ming-Na Wen) takes his... Read More

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