Li Shang was a great character in the 1998 animation 'Mulan'. Thus fans were majorly disappointed to learn he'd been written out of the upcoming live-action remake.
Many initially believed the reason Li was omitted was due to the ambiguity around his sexuality.
After all there's clearly something going on between him and Ping (who turns out to be Mulan) in the movie.
But it looks like the military captain is still present in the remake. His persona just got divided into new characters.
Producer Jason Reed explains to Collider: "We split Li Shang into two characters. One became Commander Tung (Donnie Yen) who serves as her surrogate father and mentor in the course of the movie. The other is Honghui (Yoson An) who is [Mulan’s] equal in the squad."
In fairness, the reason for it makes sense.
Reed continued: "I think particularly in the time of the #MeToo movement, having a commanding officer that is also the sexual love interest was very uncomfortable and we didn’t think it was appropriate."
New Zealand actor Yoson An who plays Honghui says his character and Mulan "start off on the wrong foot". However they form a bond through training and "they recognize each other’s warrior spirit".
Speaking of influences of Honghui, An said: "I see this film as a different variation from the animated version and the original story of The Ballad of Mulan. I kind of took a different angle from Li Shang’s character. I can’t really say to a lot of how that will come across. But there is a multi-dimensional layer to him and the audience will be able to see that when they watch the movie".
The 'Mulan' remake hits Irish cinemas on March 27th.