Production on Disney’s Mulan, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s 1998 animated feature, has begun, and title star Liu Yifei is set to steal the show in the movie’s very first image. Mulan tells 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. And as you can tell in this first image from the production, she’s very much up to the task.
Liu Yifei (The Forbidden Kingdom, Once Upon a Time) was cast as Hua Mulan following a year-long global casting search. Joining her in the film are: Donnie Yen (Star Wars: Rogue One); 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; Chum Ehelepola; with Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha, Raise the Red Lantern) and Jet Li. The film will shoot on locations in New Zealand and China and will open in U.S. theaters on March 27, 2020.
Check out the full image below:
Directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider, McFarland USA) from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Jurassic World, In the Heart of the Sea) and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek, the film is based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.” The producers are Jason T. Reed (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Chris Bender (A History of Violence) and Jake Weiner (Criminal) with Barrie M. Osborne (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), Bill Kong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Monster Hunt) and Tim Coddington (Crazy Rich Asians) serving as executive producers.
Disney’s animated feature, which was released in 1998, starred Ming-Na Wen, Miguel Ferrer and Eddie Murphy and was nominated for an Oscar and two Golden Globe Awards. The story of the legendary warrior is one of China’s most popular folktales, and is still a part of the curriculum in Chinese schools today. It remains to be seen just how much of Disney’s new live-action tale will pull from the animated version versus the legend, but we’ll find out in 2020!