Disney announces the start of production on their upcoming live-action Mulan movie and releases a first look image of Liu Yifei as Mulan. Walt Disney Studios has found a great deal of success over the last few years in adapting their animated classics to live-action. From Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent to Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, the Mouse House has done reimaginings as well as strict adaptations. Now, the studio has a number of further adaptations in various stages of development and production, including The Lion King, Aladdin, and Mulan.
Based on the classic legend as well as the 1998 animated Disney movie, Niki Caro will direct a live-action Mulan for Walt Disney Studios. The movie currently has an early 2020 release date, and much of the cast has been filled out, with Liu Yifei portraying Chinese warrior Mulan herself. There's been a great deal of controversy surrounding the Disney project, as rumored scripts surfaced and seemed to indicate the film wouldn't be following the same story as the animated classic. Now, though, Disney continues to move forward with their live-action take on Mulan as production officially begins.
Disney announced the start of production today, releasing a first look image of Yifei as Mulan, which can be seen below. Disney also confirmed the full cast of Mulan and released a synopsis for the movie, which tells the story of a young woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight enemies that seek to invade her country. See the photo and synopsis below.
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.
The cast of Mulan includes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Gong Li, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Ron Yuan, Yoson An, Jason Scott Lee, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Cheng Pei-Pei, Nelson Lee, and Chum Ehelepola. Caro will direct the movie based on a script by duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Jurassic World, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). Disney credits the story as being based on the narrative poem titled “The Ballad of Mulan,” which follows the legend and a much less watered down version of events than the animated Disney movie.
As such, it appears Mulan is following more in the footsteps of 2010's Alice in Wonderland rather than Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast - which is to say, the movie is taking its cues more from the source material than the animated Disney movie. Fans already knew this to be the case when it was revealed Mulan wouldn't be a musical, though Caro assured there would be some songs and music incorporated in the final film. Since Mulan is such a classic, having debuted during the Disney Renaissance in the late '80s and 90s, the movie has a great deal of fans and it's unclear if Caro and Disney's live-action adaptation will be able to live up to expectations. The Mouse House has seen massive success with their reimaginings of classic animated features, and while the first look image seems spot on, it remains to be seen if Mulan will be another hit for the studio.
- Mulan (2020) release date: Mar 27, 2020