Well here’s fine piece of casting news to close out the day! Disney’s live-action Mulan movie has recruited international action star and ass-kicker extraordinaire Donnie Yen. Per Deadline, Yen will take on the role of Commander Tung, a mentor and teacher to Mulan.
The remake of the beloved Disney animated film recruited Chinese actress Liu Yifei last year to star in the title role as the legendary warrior, and Yen is the first major addition since that announcement. A number of key roles still need to be cast before the film heads into production, including the male lead Shang, the villainous Shan-Yu, and Mulan’s dragon Mushu — assuming all those characters carry over to the live-action remake. Whale Rider and The Zookeeper’s Wife helmer Niki Caro is set to direct from a script by Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin.
Yen previously worked with Disney on the Star Wars prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which saw him take on the role of a blind warrior fuelled by faith in the Force. He’s become more of a household name in the states over recent years after films like xXx: Return of Xander Cage and Netflix’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. Overseas, Yen has one of the most accomplished, impressive careers as a martial arts performer and actor, dating back to the 1988 action film Tiger Cage and including the instant classic martial arts franchise Ip Man, which is ongoing. He’s a perfect choice for the role of a warrior’s mentor, and his inclusion in the film has seriously piqued my interest. Previous reports said that the film might scrap the animated version’s musical elements, and if Yen’s on board, this could turn out to be a lot more action-packed than I was expecting. Cue extreme hype.
Mulan is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 27, 2020.