Disney Debuts the First Look at Niki Caro’s Live-Action ‘Mulan’
Disney’s live-action Mulan has been in the works for some time now. The Niki Caro film was originally set to open this November, then the studio pushed it back to 2020. But finally, the movie is officially in production.
On Monday, the studio announced Caro’s film had finally kicked off production, with filming set to take place in New Zealand and China. Most exciting, we have our very first photo of the Chinese warrior, and it looks great. Chinese model and actress Liu Yifei steps into the titular role as the legend Hua Mulan, wearing a red robe and a posing with a sword.
Here’s the official synopsis from Disney:
Mulan is the epic adventure of a fearless young woman who masquerades as a man in order to fight Northern Invaders attacking China. The eldest daughter of an honored warrior, Hua Mulan is spirited, determined and quick on her feet. When the Emperor issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army, she steps in to take the place of her ailing father as Hua Jun, becoming one of China’s greatest warriors ever.
Caro (The Zookeeper’s Wife) has gone back and forth on whether her live-action version, based on the Chinese folktale, will feature any music from the 1998 animated film. While we may not hear Donny Osmond crooning about the dark side of the moon in this version, Caro did say music would play a role in the movie.
But the most exciting element of the project is the primarily all-Asian cast. Jet Li will play the Emperor of China, Memoirs of a Geisha star Gong Li will play the villain, and Donnie Yen will be a new character, Mulan’s mentor, Commander Tung. The rest of the cast includes Jason Scott Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny), Yoson An (The Meg), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect), Ron Yuan (Marco Polo), Tzi Ma (Arrival), Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Nelson Lee, and Chum Ehelepola.
Mulan hits theaters March 27, 2020.