Cross-dressing military dramas up for production

Mulan Renewal is one of several upcoming projects involving female soldiers or generals.

I’ve half given up on the Disney remake of Mulan, so here are a couple of similar stories featuring cross-dressing female generals/soldiers that are in pre-production to look-forward to.

Disney really should’ve just remade one of those instead of trying too hard to make Mulan appeal to what they think Chinese people like without hiring anyone Chinese in their production team and end up with a weird mix of stereotypes and attempts at appeasement. It’ll be easier for them anyway since most of the leads in these are either half Turkic or ambiguously white.

Mulan Has No Older Brothers / Mulan Renewal 木兰无长兄
After Mulan returns home, she is ostracized due to both racism and sexism. How will she start life anew and find her self worth in times of peace? This story is unique in that it has a very weak romance line that isn’t central to the plot. The drama is co-produced by  CKF Pictures, the team behind last year’s well-received Tientsin Mystic 河神.

*Note: despite what this book implies, Xianbei people do not look white. The Xianbei people are a nomadic tribe from modern-day Northeast China and are probably closer in look to modern day Mongolians, Manchus, and Xibos. They look like neither Russian white nor Turkic white.

The Long Ballad 长歌行
Tang-dynasty princess escapes the slaughter of her father by his father the Emperor.  She becomes a soldier under the adopted son of Illig Qaghan with the hopes of avenging her family. She eventually falls for him and must chose between revenge and the Tang dynasty.

A’mai Joins the Army 阿麦从军
See above but in Southern Qi and she’s a normal noble.

The General’s Wedding 将嫁

Set in a fictional Yan Dynasty, Huo Shiying has followed her father in guarding the borders since a baby. She eventually grows to become the only female general in the Yan Dynasty, and is involved in a tangled romance with the Emperor.

14 thoughts on “Cross-dressing military dramas up for production

  1. Meh, I love the original animated Mulan, am a big Disney fan (even if I don’t agree with all the production/management’s choices) and the live action remake is the only recent remake of their animated movies I’m looking forward too, especially since they didn’t whitewash the cast. First people were complaining that that was going to happen, or they would cast non-Chinese Asian actors for some of the roles. They didn’t do that and casted excellent Chinese actors. Now we are complaining that there are not enough Chinese people involved in production, when we don’t even have full credits yet. As an not fully Chinese production, this isn’t surprising and not entirely a big issue as long as they aren’t going on a “token” basis.
    It’s like people are looking for a reason to complain these days. I’m just excited because it’s been a while since we’ve seen positive promotion of Chinese culture in America. All I see is headlines like “Russia and China ready for war”, “China building war drone” etc people look at the country like this big scary communist giant, amongst other negative stereotypes. And all the beauty of Chinese culture, language, the individualism of the people is lost with these biased headlines and nothing else. I seriously want to tell them, it’s the freaking central government that’s doing all of that, not a billion evil people conspiring against America.

    I’m Black American, but I love Chinese culture and media and that of other cultures. I can’t say the same for a lot of people with my background, a lot have strained or stereotyped views of Asians in general. Mainstream movies and shows like Mulan, Sagwa the Siamese cat, anime and so on have exposed more people to Asian culture and opened many people up to multiculturalism. Now we have the internet that gives us more access to Asian media from Asia but its not completely mainstream and a lot of people in general still have that sinophobic bias because of what the news tells us. In these political and divided times I think we need more mainstream movies showing more different cultures, less whitewashing and more exposure to Chinese culture in a less stereotypical and ‘forced in for the Chinese film market’ way, yknow, like the original Mulan. Hoping they do that, I feel we seriously need the new remake and need to overlook smaller issues

    • You work for Disney, right?

      This post just seems like a giant commercial lol – Hey look this movie is good, watch it.

    • Very convincing and well written sales pitch lol. It’s flattering that a big company like Disney is keeping tabs on this blog 😂 🤣. +1 for effort, great marketing..

  2. This’ll sound silly, but it’s a genuine question: is Disney making Mulan for a Chinese audience? I was under the impression it was being made for a western audience, though it’ll certainly see a release in China. This impression is based on nothing other than the fact that it’s Disney, though, so maybe I’m wrong? I was never on board with the Disney Mulan idea, because I assumed it was going to be a weirdly westernized and strongly steaming pile.

    I really just don’t like Disney, I think.

    • I mean we all know that’s why they cast Liu Yifei and Gong Li. Disney would have to be dumb to not try to appeal to the second biggest film market.

      I’m okay with completely Westernized stuff because I love Mulan the animated film. I think it’s better made than all the recent Chinese films based on the story. I just dislike the aesthetic of every live-action remake so far and think the plot changes take away a lot of the magic. Also the costumes, sets, and male lead for Mulan all look wrong to me.

      • In my eyes, that casting is by no means an indication that this is being made FOR a Chinese audience. I call that a sop. Disney-level film makers have yet to use more than sops in their “efforts” to appeal to other film markets, IMHO. There are Things that have happened in India that got straight up my nose, though, so I’m not looking at this objectively.

    • Disney is definitely trying to capture the China market via casting well known Chinese stars – Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, etc.. But if you look at the production crew, there’s almost no Chinese staff. So the story is unlikely to be appealing to the Chinese audience. And imo the final movie will just be a bizarre mash-up similar to all those other Hollywood co-productions.

      • I’ve been waiting for news on that adaptation! Aside from that, all these preproductions sound really interesting. Any news on casting or which production teams will be in charge of each project?

        With Disney’s Mulan though, I too feel disappointed. It could have been a really good chance for Asian (American) representation but they seem to just keep disappointing me with each piece of news they release. I’ll probably still watch it because I loved the animation and Mulan in general. But I don’t know if I’ll pay to see it in theaters.

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