Gather your bucket of popcorn, your Eddie Murphy dragon sidekick, and your best “Reflection” vocals, but then throw them all away again because Mulan just got a dark and dangerous makeover. Disney has finally released its first look at its upcoming live action remake of Mulan, and it's a glimpse at actress Liu Yifei in the lead role.
Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, looks fierce in the movie’s first promo shot, armed with a sword and stance that prove she is here to school us all and save China like it ain't no thang. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the 30-year-old actress won the part over “nearly 1,000 candidates for the role across five continents.”
She completes the lineup for the highly anticipated blockbuster alongside Jet Li as the Emperor, Jason Scott Lee as the bad guy Bori Khan, and Yoson An as Mulan’s love interest, Chen Honghui. The much-loved Li Shang and Mushu who both appear in the cartoon version have been given the axe this time, suggesting that this Mulan is going to be quite different from the one you know by heart.
Originally, the announcement that the Disney classic was to be given the live action treatment raised a few eyebrows, with an online petition pledging to “take a stand against whitewashing” gathering over 112k signatures. Luckily, the outcry that always follows the casting of white actors as characters of color seems to have resonated this time. Following Disney’s confirmation that filming has now begun in China and New Zealand, Deadline says Mulan is to arrive in cinemas on March 27, 2020.