Disney’s live action retelling of “Mulan” is moving forward with new casting announcements.
The film is a live action version of the 1998 animated classic about a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her aging father from being forced to go to war.
The first announcement came several months ago when Chinese actress Yifei Liu was selected to play the title role of Mulan. Late yesterday, Deadline announced that Donnie Yen would be joining her. Yen will play Commander Tung who becomes a teacher and mentor to the young warrior. He has starred in a number of Chinese films, including the “Ip Man” series and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.” American audiences might know him best as Chirrut Îmwe from “Rogue One.”
More casting news followed today as Collider reported that Gong Li and Jet Li both joined the cast.
Gong Li has starred in a number of Chinese films, but she has also appeared in American cinema, too. Her film roles include “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Miami Vice,” and “Hannibal Rising.” She will be playing a character that did not exist in the animated film, a witch that is expected to be the story’s main villain. The animated tale had the warriors facing the invading Huns.
Renowned martial artist and actor Jet Li will play the Emperor of China. Jet Li has starred in such well-known films as “Romeo Must Die,” “Kiss of the Dragon,” “Hero,” and the “Expendables” franchise.
Chinese-Vietnamese actress Xana Tang will also have a role as Mulan’s sister. This is another part that didn’t exist in the animated film. Tang starred in the TV series “Filthy Rich,” and “The Letdown.”
Niki Caro is directing the film. She directed Keisha Castle-Hughes to an Oscar nomination for “Whale Rider” in 2002. She also directed Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand to nominations in “North Country” in 2005. Her other film credits include “McFarland, USA” and “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”
After two date changes, Walt Disney Studios will release “Mulan” on March 27, 2020.