Disney has released a teaser for its upcoming live-action adaptation of Mulan during the Women’s World Cup final. The 1998 animated movie remake is set to be in theaters in March 2020.
The anticipated movie stars Yifei Liu in the role of Hua Mulan, a daughter who disguises herself as a man to take his father’s place when he was called to battle.
The teaser opens with Mulan riding in the films. Once home, her mother and father announce that the matchmaker has found her an auspicious match. In the next scene, the matchmaker lists off the characteristics of a “good wife” via voiceover: quiet, composed, graceful, and disciplined.
The teaser shows scenes of Mulan showing off those characteristics while practicing martial arts, swordplay, and her training in the army. It further shows Mulan‘s skills in archery and in battle.
The trailer ends with Mulan getting ready to fight several soldiers. “It is my duty to fight,” says Mulan.
Yifei Liu, also known as Crystal Liu, is a Chinese-American actress who is widely known as the “Fairy Sister” in the Chinese entertainment industry because of her sweet image. She has starred in many TV series and films in China. Her notable role in American film before Mulan is the Golden Sparrow in the Forbidden Kingdom, alongside veteran actor Jet Li, another cast member joining the film.
Though not yet in the teaser, Jet Li is credited with the role of The Emperor of China in IMDB. Li originally turned down the role but later agreed after his daughter convinced him to join a movie that promotes Chinese culture.
The teaser does feature Mulan‘s father and mother, played by Tzi Ma and Rosalind Chao, respectively. Ma is known for his roles in Arrival, Rush Hour, and The LadyKillers. Chao, on the other hand, is known for her roles in Freaky Friday, Joy Luck Club, and Just Like Heaven.
Niki Caro directs the live-action film. She is known for her work in Whale Rider, North Country, and The Zookeeper’s Wife.
Other cast members slated are Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jason Scott Lee, and Yoson An.
Mulan with a Twist
The teaser did not show any of Mulan‘s original animal companions such as Cricket and Mushu, the dragon.
According to CNN, Mushu is completely cut off the movie. The dragon is one of the lovable characters in the animated film. During Mulan‘s quests, he provides guidance and comic relief for the film.
Speculation on the replacement of Mushu comes from a report from The DisInsider. Mushu may possibly be replaced by a phoenix. The report shows a number of confirmed cast members wearing sweaters with embroidered Mulan logo with a phoenix taking flight.
So, who will guide Mulan to be her bad-ass fighter self?
Commander Tung, played by Donnie Yen, will be Mulan‘s mentor. Yen is known for his great portrayal of the Ip Man in the movie franchise of the same name. He also played the super skilled and lovable Chirrut Imwe from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Aside from Mushu, CNN has confirmed that Mulan’s love interest in the animated film, Captain Li Shang, will not be included in the film.
Instead of Li Shang, the remake is introducing a new character named Chen Honghui, an ambitious new soldier who joins Mulan in their unit. Yoson An, an actor from New Zealand, pays Chen Honghui. He had roles in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, The Meg, and Mortal Engines.
The remake is also getting a new villain. Shan Yu, the villain in the original animated movie, was motivated to kill the Chinese Emperor and conquer China. However, in the remake version, the villain is a warrior seeking revenge for the death of his father. Bori Khan, the villain, is played by Jason Scott Lee.
Bori Khan is not the only villain in the remake. Xian Ling, a powerful witch is aligning herself with Khan. Actress Li Gong is playing the role. Gong had is best known for roles in Farewell My Concubine and Memoirs of a Geisha.
Another new character is Mulan’s sister. We get a glimpse of her in the teaser but she wasn’t focused that much. The role of Mulan’s sister is played by Xana Tang. In IMDB, Mulan’s sister’s name is Hua Xiu.
Aside from the new characters, ET Online also confirmed that the remake will not be a musical. The beloved songs from the animation film will be added as instrumentals.