She will bring honor to us all! For lovers of the warrior fighter/princess Mulan, Disney has cast its live-action remake, which is scheduled to be released in theaters in March 2020.
The title character will be played by Chinese actress Yifei Liu (also known as Crystal Liu). According to Entertainment Weekly, she had to beat out nearly 1,000 candidates to play the part of Mulan. After all, the role requires a young, ethnically Chinese actress to have credible martial arts skills and the ability to speak English.
Though she is better known in China than here in the U.S., Liu has starred alongside Emile Hirsch in “The Chinese Widow.” She also played a role in the 2008 film “The Forbidden Kingdom” with Jackie Chan and Jet Li, as well as 2014’s “Outcast,” starring Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen.
The upcoming film follows the story that inspired the 1998 film, in which Hua Mulan disguises herself as a male fighter to save her father. She ends up taking down the Huns and falling in love. However, this version is definitely going to be different than the beloved animated musical; it is not expected to have any singing, and has dropped the characters of fast-talking dragon Mushu and General Li Shang.
Naturally, the cast doesn’t stop with Liu, and there are more differences, too! Jet Li will play the emperor of China and Gong Li will play the live-action film’s villain, a powerful witch, which is different than the original where Mulan and the army go up against the Huns, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Here’s the official trailer for the film, from Walt Disney Studio’s YouTube:
Donnie Yen, who starred in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” will play Mulan’s mentor, Commander Tung. Xana Tang will play a new character who didn’t make an appearance in the 1998 one — Mulan’s sister. And the story wouldn’t be complete without a bit of romance. Yoson An, a New Zealand actor, has been cast as Mulan’s new love interest, Cheng Honghui.
Niki Caro, who most recently directed “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” will take on directing the re-creation. The film is expected to begin filming in August in China and New Zealand, according to Business Insider.
If you need to remind yourself of the original, “Mulan” is still streaming on Netflix right now, though it will probably leave when Disney debuts its own streaming service for your TVs.
Are you excited to see a new take on the story of “Mulan”?