Disney is on a roll with its live-action adaptations of its classics. In 2020, we can look for the period drama Mulan, starring Yifei Liu in the title role.
The original 1998 animated film revolves around a young Chinese woman named Hua Mulan. The story takes place during the Han Dynasty when a male from each family is drafted into the Imperial Army. Mulan’s father, who has proven himself a warrior, is too ill to serve. Mulan disguises herself as a man and takes his place.
The first look trailer just recently released (July 7):
In the trailer, Mulan is speaking to her family about an arranged marriage. She concedes to what they ask of her, saying, “Yes, I will bring honor to us all.” She was absolutely correct in that sentiment, but she did so in a very unexpected way…
She puts the qualities of a good wife (as described to her) — quiet, composed, graceful and disciplined — to use on the battlefield.
The Disney story is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, going back to 420-589 CE. She was first written about in the sixth century Ballad of Mulan. There have been earlier live-action adaptations, including the 2009 Chinese version, with English subtitles:
Chinese-American actress Liu’s work has been mostly international, starring in Chinese films like 2017’s In Harm’s Way and 2014’s For Love or Money. She got her start in TV series like 2005’s Chinese Paladin and 2006’s The Return of the Condor Heroes. You may have spotted her in the 2008 American production of The Forbidden Kingdom.
Mulan will be in theaters on March 20, 2020.
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