There’s little doubt that the last few years have helped add diversity to films across Hollywood. As little films like “Moonlight” and big films like “Black Panther” have advanced African-American representation, other groups remain outside of Hollywood. This week, we’ve dedicated Awards Circuit to showcasing Asian cinema, as “Crazy Rich Asians” hits theaters. Of course, the week of “Crazy Rich Asians” hitting theaters, Disney has chosen to steal some of the thunder. As their own “Mulan” live-action film moves into production, Disney chose to release our first look at Liu Yifei as the titular character in the upcoming film.
The image showcases Yifei in costume as the Disney character that has continued to gain cult status as one of its best characters. “Mulan” debuted to strong reviews in 1998, but has gained considerable momentum in the years since. Jerry Goldsmith received an Oscar nomination for his score. Sadly, the rest of the film got left out. While it swept the Annies, “Mulan” released 3 years prior to the Best Animated Feature category.
One of the most exciting things about the “Mulan” live-action film is that this one feels necessary. Unlike “live-action” remakes of “The Jungle Book” or “Lion King,” Mulan features humans as its key protagonists. This version can be far grander in scope than many of the Disney remakes to this point. The animation in Mulan already showcased some of this spectacle. Yet live-action may finally showcase the story in a way that will earn it the respect it deserved. Niki Caro directs the film, which also stars Donnie Yen, Jet Li, and Jason Scott Lee. With Yeifei looking the part, mark this as one of the most anticipated features in 2020.